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Kaduva Movie Review : A Prithviraj mass thriller with spark missing

Modified On: 08 July 2022 | Reviewed By:

Storyline:: Set in the 90s, Pala planter Kaduvakunnel Kuriyachan goes on a coalition course with politically powerful IG Joseph Chandy.


Director: Shaji Kailas | Music Director: S. Thaman

Kaduva Movie Poster

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Shaji Kailas returns to Malayalam after a gap with the sort of genre he is best at-‘mass’ thriller. But the difference between Kaduva and Kailas’s 90s hits such as Ekalavyan and Commissioner, or any of those kinds of revenge films from the period, such as Bhoomiyile Rajakkanmar or Dhruvam, is that when the hero gets back at the antagonist, it is by setting deliciously clever traps, smooth or bombastic dialogue and a few punches. Kaduva, written by Jinu V Abraham, is more brawn than the brain.

The film has been embroiled in court cases in the past couple of years, with a Jose Kuruvinakunnel claiming that the film is defamatory to himself and his family. Case notwithstanding, the film tells the story of Kaduvakunnel Kuriyachan (Prithviraj), a Pala planter, in the 90s, who ends up on a coalition course with IG Joseph Chandy (Vivek Oberoi), a top cop who is politically favoured. What starts as a misunderstanding over a piano gifted to the local church, where a wayward priest has been posted, slowly develops into a fight that grows bigger and bigger, even as the protagonist ends up in jail. How he gets the better of the IG, a local SI (Kalabhavan Shajohn), and the priest, forms the rest of the story.

Shaji Kailas’s earlier movies always had entertainment value. They were fast-paced, had characters that were excitingly, and emotionally volatile, and again, the hero’s retributive fight back was fun to watch. That is sadly missing here; thankfully even the misogyny. Joseph Chandy, SI Dominic, and Fr Robin attack Kuriyachan on all fronts in the first half and it keeps us engrossed because we can’t wait to see how he will get back at them, but if you were expecting smooth, clever destruction, the second half will leave you disappointed.

It starts out with some clever political manipulation which is interesting, but finally ends in punches, which feels like a letdown. And at 155 minutes and all the slo-mo, it gets tiring as well towards the end. Some things - like when Kuriyachan's neighboring plot is converted into a cremation ground - are not even later addressed.

Prithviraj is good in the role of Kuriyachan; he conveys a good mix of power and geniality and makes you root for the character. Vivek Oberoi is apt as the antagonistic IG and Shajon are perfect as the villainous, petty SI. The supporting cast of Alencier, Baiju, and Rahul Madhav, among others, are good in their roles. Samyuktha Menon is eye candy, and in fact, Seema, in a small role, has more powerful moments on screen. Abinandhan Ramanujam’s camerawork is beautifully striking at some points, such as after a prison fight and in capturing a drive through a plantation.

Finally, it can be summed up that this movie is just for those who like the Prithviraj mass thriller.

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