Around 20 minutes into Kolamavu Kokila , there’s a passing shot of the three women of the house, sitting in line, combing each other’s hair. It’s a visual that’s been repeated so many times in our films that we’re likely to not notice it; but not when it’s in this film . The mother has just been diagnosed with cancer, leaving her with just three months to live and even fewer days with a full head of hair. And so, even this most mundane daily activity, becomes striking, forcing one to sit up and take notice. This is one of the dozen such moments that make Kolamavu Kokila a special film;and it’s not the least because it’s ‘female centric’ film.
Kokila (Nayanthara, now deserving of early morning shows and pal abishekams ) isn’t the result of a script re-write to force-fit a gangster film for a powerful heroine. It’s very much an organic film which achieves its own mass moments without its female lead ever having to imitate excessive displays of machismo. Much of that is because it is a very human story.
- Genre: Dark comedy
- Director: Nelson
- Cast: Nayanthara, Yogi Babu, Saranya Ponvannan
- Storyline: The elder daughter of a family turns to crime to save her mother from dying
Drug smuggling is something Kokila is forced to take up once she is told of her mother’s cancer and has no other way to earn the Rs.15 lakh it would cost for her treatment. And like Walter White of Breaking Bad , what we’re witnessing is the dark turn a normal person’s life takes when put in the toughest of times. Yet what sets it apart is how the film treats even the darkest situations with humour. There’s a hilarious five-minute stretch, which is essentially one long rape joke, where the entire family gets together to kill one gangster after another. What’s disappointing is what happens between such terrific scenes. It feels like a lot of time has been spent to set up one great scene, which is again followed with periods of dullness. It also doesn’t help how things get a bit too convoluted, like it so often does in films about drugs and smuggling.
Even so, it’s still one of the better films we’ve seen this year and a departure from the sermons that have come to be defined as feminist films. Kolamavu Kokila is quirky, ridiculous and fun and we can’t wait for what the lady superstar has to offer next.