Starring: Dulquer Salmaan, Indrajith Sukumaran, Sobhita Dhulipala, Sunny Wayne
Director: Srinath Rajendran
This Malayalam mystery thriller, released on Netflix in several Indian languages and with subtitles, is a crime drama based on the life of one of India’s most wanted fugitives. While there is a lot of cinematic license involved, the story of the real-life Sukumara Kurup holds out great entertainment promise as Dulquer Salmaan dons the avatar of Kurup.
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Gopikrishna Pillai (Salmaan), who will later assume several other identities, comes across as a carefree work-shy young man whose family decides his only hope would be as an Indian Air Force recruit. However, instead of the strict discipline of the armed forces training transforming Gopi into a reformed man, it only opens up fresh avenues of corruption for him to make a quick extra buck.
These small-time tricks eventually make way for bigger dirty dealings, involving arms and ammunition. Soon a cash-rich Gopi, now Kurup, finds himself living the lavish life in Persia with his wife Sharada (Dhulipala) and two young kids. Despite having the ear of the country’s prince and a comfortable lifestyle, there is a restlessness in Kurup that brings him back his village in India for what will turn him into the world’s most wanted murderer.
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This thriller does have its moments of thrill but lacks much of the punch that would make it a truly entertaining experience. Each scene unfolds mysteriously but without generating the requisite tension for the audience to really engage with the unfolding story. Even the supposedly passionate love story thread between Kurup and Sharada plays out to little emotion.
While the central character of Kurup is well-defined in the very talented Dulquer Salmaan’s hands, all the other supporting characters seem to fade into the background without making much of a mark. In the end, the result is a tepid film aspiring to be a thrilling watch but falling well short.