Director: Shaji N. Karun
Actors: Mammootty, Padmapriya, Kamalini Mukherjee and Meena Kumari
Rating: ** ½
Cinema is a visual, not a verbal, medium, and when a film overlooks this essential aspect, it tends to veer into a state of tedium. Shaji N. Karun has woven a very interesting story into his directorial effort, Kutty Sranku in Malayalam. But much of the plot unfolds through words, not quite images. Obviously, despite a riveting performance by Mammootty, the movie meanders into the mundane.
Mammootty’s Kutty Sranku leads an eventful life. A child abandoned at birth, rootless and restless, he finds a sense of fulfillment when a mute woman, Kali, (played with touching sensitivity by Meena Kumari), crosses his path. Shunned by the whole village as an evil omen and stoned out of decent existence, she finds respect and love in the arms of Kutty Sranku.
There are two other women in his life: Revamma (Padmapriya), a doctor who turns a Buddhist after returning from Sri Lanka, and Premmena (Kamalini Mukherjee), and co-artist in a dance troupe that Kutty Sranku was involved with. They share an unrequited love for him.
The narrative unfolds over two hours and appears far too leisurely to completely grip one’s attention. Though the three stories, each tracing one woman, have been interestingly linked, it is only that of Kali that draws and engages us. The other two women seem more like add-ons, hardly impacting either our attention or the plot itself.
The one significant saving grace is Mammootty, who fits the bill to a T, and manages to enact a none-too-easy part with considerable ease. The script does not offer him much to speak, a pleasant diversion from the other characters who have far too much to say, and far too less to actually act.
More of an arthouse fare, Karun’s latest work may well find itself impeded by its sparkles rhythm and a feel that does not fit with today’s cinematic technique. Produced by Reliance Big Pictures, Kutty Sranku too is likely to sink without much of a trace, like the house’s recent disasters (Ijjodu and Raavanan/Raavan).