Reviewed By: Sai Nikhil
Cast: Suraj Venjaramoodu, Tovino Thomas, Aishwarya Lekshmi
Director: Manu Ashokan
Streaming on: SonyLIV
Story: Allen (Tovino Thomas) is trying to lead a peaceful life after his second marriage but his first father-in-law Paul (Suraj Venjaramoodu) arrives at his house and forces him to confront his guilt and his mysterious past.
Performances: This film completely revolves around three main characters and nobody else has major screen space. These three actors — Suraj Venjaramoodu, Tovino Thomas and Aishwarya Lekshmi have delivered outstanding performances and did complete justice to the script and their roles. Suraj Venjaramoodu especially has gone very deep into the character and portrayed every minute emotion in a fantastic way. Tovino and Aishwarya too played roles with multiple layers and they have pulled it off really well.
Technicalities: Camerawork is neat but the colour tone of the film would have been more apt for a thriller rather than a family drama like this. Music is good both in terms of the songs and background score. Editing is clever with a non-linear approach making the drama feel gripping. Dialogues are very good in the key scenes.
Analysis: This film is a family drama with a small mystery element in it. Even with the mystery element, the film remains in the family drama zone and does not move into crime or suspense genres. With a simple story and realistic treatment, this film ends up being a trademark Malayalam drama. Writers Bobby and Sanjay deserve a lot of credit for writing minimum characters with a lot of depth and definition and luckily, the right actors have fallen into the roles and enhanced their wonderful writing. Themes like self-realisation, guilt and forgiveness are handled very sensibly in the film and the climax deserves a mention. There is a certain slowness in the film, which may not be an issue for all because of the gripping drama and excellent performances. All those who like and are used to slow-burn family dramas and especially Malayalam films, will not find any major issue with the pace and will be invested.
On a whole: Kaanakkaane is a gripping family drama with extraordinary performances and is definitely worth a watch.