Kammatti Paadam (Review): A Modern Classic. Authentic, Gritty and Gripping.
Rajeev Ravi presents the violent story of Kammatti Paadam and few friends. Krishnan, returns to Ernakulam after getting a call from his childhood friend Ganga. The movie follows a non-linear storyline going backwards and forwards in time. The development of the lead characters (Ganga, Krishnan, Paranki, Balan etc.) are the best of recent times.
What separates Kammatti Paadam from every Malayalam-gangster/action film before is its down-to-earth presentation. The dialogues, howsoever simple they are, resonate in your mind forever. Rajeev Ravi’s glorious story-telling leaves you with some good stuff to ponder on. It’s deeper than any movie of its kind in Malayalam, something similar to Padmarajan’s Season. When the audience can associate themselves with the people in the film, it’s a great connection. Kammatti Paadam does all that it intends to. It takes a deep dive into the lives of those we wince or frown at, and before the movie ends, you have already developed a bond with them! The more you watch – the more familiar it gets. Kammatti Paadam is that one shining diamond in this new world, a world full of feel-good colorful romantic movies.
Complimenting the superb writing was the phenomenal acting. The performances, like in any film by a master-maker, are simply divine. Manikandan Achari (Balan) is the brightest of all, steals the show. Balan is one of the best ever to grace the screen. I wonder how Rajeev Ravi found all these actors. Dulquer Salmaan, one of the most watchable actors of this gen, ‘s performance is stunning and Vinayakan is terrific as Ganga. His dubbing, voice modulation is absolutely brilliant. One note of brilliance is the ‘repeated phone call scenes’. These three actors now got a classic in their hand to be proud of, that can be presented to any future generation. Blessed actors. Only few actors earn such a coin in their life time.
This movie will give Rajeev Ravi an icon status in the history of the industry. Some terrific scenes are there which will go down as classics and only get better with repeated viewings. Eg: Krishnan meeting Paranki for the first time after coming from Mumbai, the intro of ‘Ganga’ old get up, and dialogues like ‘Avante Poakku Kandappol Pidichu Niruththaan Thonniyilla’, ‘Ee City Irikkunnathu Kammatti Paadaththinte Mukalilaa’. It will be his most appreciated film in years to come. Like Shaji N Karun’s Piravi; it will overpass his other filmography, possibly. Annayum Rasoolum, Njan Steve Lopez and now, Kammatti Paadam… Rajeev Ravi is the Padmarajan of this era.
The cinematographic aspects of this movie are as good as it get’s. Madhu Neelakantan is outstanding, so is the background score of K. They all together lift the move even higher. Every great movie has its flaws… bits and pieces, but could not find any here. Music, narration, dialogue, camera movements and picturesque images — dazzling moments come frequently, always alive. If you have not seen Kammatti Paadam then you are missing something that will stick with you. Rajeev Ravi melds amazing little things together to form a masterpiece. I’ll just say that this film is a true masterpiece, meticulously designed, costumed, and acted. This is filmmaking at it’s best.
Cinephile. Learning the art of Filmmaking. Film-Director.