Kasargold opens with a bedtime story, a morality tale that a father shares with his kid, with the short-term goal of putting him to sleep, and the long-term goal of inculcating values in him. The 140-minute duration of the movie that follows happens to be an expansion of this idea, and one gets a fair estimation early of how things would pan out. The scriptwriters also seem to be caught within the confines of that bedtime story, never straying from that narrative to give the viewers something out of the box.
Filmmaker Mirdul Nair, who debuted with B.Tech more than five years back, is also content with exploring paths which have already been trodden several times by other filmmakers, probably with the faint hope that all the fast-paced action and the visual and aural assault would be a good cover for it. ‘Kasargold’ is set around the shady world of gold smuggling, but the world that we see here is quite different from what we saw in ‘Thankam’ earlier this year. It is a flashier world, and the makers aim just to skim the surface rather than study the underbelly, as the other film did.
Alby (Asif Ali)‘s car gets involved in an accident when he returns home with his girlfriend Nancy, who has just got out from a flight with smuggled gold. After a fistfight with Faisal (Sunny Wayne) and his friends, who were in the other car, the gold goes missing, setting off a hunt for the smuggled stuff worth crores. Alby, who works for a politician, is under pressure to recover the gold, and the suspicions point towards Faisal. Alex (Vinayakan), a policeman under suspension, is also on their tail, and just like all onscreen policemen under suspension, he is more dangerous without the ‘burden’ of the uniform.
On paper, Mridul had most of the broad elements with which he could have pulled off an engaging film, and there are some passages in the initial half where he manages to do it. But, much of what we get to see gives us a feeling of a film that might have worked, had it been made a few years back. The failure to throw in something to take the audience by surprise also works against the film. For instance, when the protagonists meet a gang of overly friendly men in Goa later on, we immediately get a hint as to how things would turn out.
It even brings back memories of Asif Ali’s own past films like ‘Underworld’, not just because of the setting, the themes or his familiar expressions. Sunny Wayne plays the typical character who is forced to be a part of the risky business due to the circumstances in his family. The action spans across North Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Mumbai and West Asia, but all these trips don’t help elevate the movie.
As for the political angle, it does not tie in organically with the main plot, and appears to have been placed in the narrative just for the sake of it. An incident of moral policing early on in the movie, the disproportionate and highly unconvincing violent reaction that follows, as well as the movie’s positioning on the side of the moral policing gang leaves a bitter aftertaste, although it forms only a miniscule part of it.
Kasargold is currently running in theatres