‘Kuttavum Shikshayum’ film review: Accurate portrayal of a police probe, minus the thrills

The film, plodding through unglamorous details, somewhere loses connect with the audience

May 27, 2022 09:02 pm | Updated 09:02 pm IST

A still from the movie ‘Kuttavum Sikshayum.’

A still from the movie ‘Kuttavum Sikshayum.’

Kuttavum Sikshayum
Starring: Asif Ali, Alencier, Sunny Wayne, Sharafuddin, Senthil Krishna
Direction: Rajeev Ravi

Sticking strictly to a narrative, without ever taking the possible tangents, and forgetting about all the flashbacks, takes immense discipline and courage. In Kuttavum Shikshayum, the narrative begins from a crime and progresses through the investigation, without straying into the many possibilities that lay beckoning on either side. That becomes the film’s strength, but not fully exploiting this core material, paves the way for its undoing.

Following a jewellery store heist in Idukki district, Circle Inspector Sajan Philip (Asif Ali) is tasked with the challenge of nabbing the suspects. After zeroing in on the initial leads, the police team realise that the suspects all hail from a north Indian village. A five-member police team led by Philip heads to the village, but getting the criminals out from their lair is easier said than done.

Owing to Rajeev Ravi’s three remarkable films, Kuttavum Shikshayum also comes with a certain level of expectation, of realistic portrayals and moving human tales. Here, he works on a script by cop Sibi Thomas and Sreejith Divakaran, based on a real-life story. The parallels that the theme has with the 2017 Tamil film Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru are right there on the surface, but this exists in a vastly different space, due to its treatment.

The intention is clear – to show a police investigation as it is, in all its unglamorous drudgery, without all the loud heroism and the popcorn thrills one would associate with the genre. The series of leads that run cold, the sheer exhaustion and disappointment that follows it, all take up ample screen space, not getting lost in the editing table, for its lack of entertainment value. But then, all through this, the audience sits with the hope of a high later on, attained through an unexpected turn of events or a startling revelation.

Where Kuttavum Shikshayum falters is in staying true to its intent to document the drudgery in that even pace and failing to deliver the high that the audience looks forward to. The narrative, which is fully from the viewpoint of the policeman, hardly ever grips you. At some points, the script drops hints of CI Sajan’s troubled past and his recurring nightmares, but these remain under-explored. The whole north Indian adventure seems to have been intended as some kind of catharsis for this character, but it does not convey that, except in words.

In fact, quite a few things do not get effectively conveyed, especially the danger of entering the village. Except the characters of two policemen (Sajan and Basheer), most others are under-written, and Asif Ali has effectively pulled off Sajan. We don’t get to know much about the faceless criminals or the people in the village, other than in broad strokes and in long shots.

Kuttavum Shikshayum is an accurate, detailed portrayal of a police investigation, but lacks a script which can engage the audience.  

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