Review: Kaattu (2017)

In Arun Kumar Aravind’s “Kaattu,” the late legend P. Padmarajan’s son, Ananthapadmanabhan, weaves a tale set in a firecracker manufacturing unit during the late ’70s. The dusty terrain on the Kerala-TN border becomes the canvas for the lives of intriguing characters.

A Mesmerizing Dive into Character Dynamics

Chellappan, portrayed by Murali Gopy, anchors the narrative as a womanizer with a complex past. Alongside him are Noohu Kannu (Asif Ali), the immature neighbor with a crush, Pauly (Unni P Dev), a romantic rendezvous enthusiast, and Mooppan (Pankan Thamarassery), the unit’s supposed head.

Solid Storytelling with a Few Gaps

The film unfolds with a compelling honor-killing scene in Tamil Nadu, introducing Varalaxmi Sarathkumar’s character, Muthulakshmi. The setting then shifts to Kerala, where Chellappan rescues Noohu Kannu, setting the stage for a beautifully crafted tale.

Male Camaraderie and Complex Characters

The characters are gradually established, showcasing splendid camaraderie among the men. The film delves into their pranks, drunken escapades, and the portrayal of the male gaze, particularly Chellappan’s misogynistic attitudes shaped by past heartbreaks.

Cinematic Brilliance and Musical Accompaniment

Deepak Dev’s music complements the film’s unsophisticated nature, adding depth to the narrative. The cinematography by Prashanth Raveendran captures the gritty world in shades of brown and orange. The film uses tonal changes effectively, notably at Noohu Kannu’s beachside home.

Sparkling Moments and Exceptional Performances

Several scenes, such as Mooppan lighting a beedi in the cracker unit, stand out as sparkling moments. Asif Ali’s restrained performance as Noohu Kannu and Murali Gopy’s portrayal of Chellappan add depth to the film. However, the female characters, though memorable, deserve more screen time and closure.

A Cinematic Journey with a Bittersweet End

“Kaattu” concludes in a way that may not be soothing to all audiences, but it aligns with the film’s essence. While the raw emotions and coarse setting resonate, the film could benefit from a shorter runtime and refined character arcs. Despite its shortcomings, “Kaattu” offers a mesmerizing dive into the lives of its oddball characters.

Verdict: You may or may not savor this piece of cinema, based on your tastes!

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About the Author

Arun George
Thinker. Foodie. Travel-Enthusiast. Movie buff. Writer by Profession, Wanderer by Passion.

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