Thiruvananthapuram

Losing the plot in a bid to tick checkboxes

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Thrills are few and far between, and the approach seems forced

Even when you have a compelling story to narrate, delivering it on screen in an organic manner is an art, which eludes many. In Kamala, Ranjith Sankar sets out to make a less loud, slowly unravelling thriller, something which is far removed from the kind of films he is known for. Sitting through the movie, one can feel the director ticking each of these checkboxes that he intended, and adding to it a mixture of social issues, as is his wont. The way it all comes together feels forced, rather than organic.

At the centre of the story is Zafar (Aju Varghese), a broker who deals in high-end cars and real estate. He is on the cusp of landing the biggest deal of his life, by using his cunning to make a village of tribal people part with their land for two businessmen to set up a resort. When he is about to seal the deal, Kamala (Ruhani Sharma), with whom he had struck up a friendship, lands up on a visit. Though he has been looking forward to meeting her, things do not seem to be right.

Mystery element

The whole movie rests on the element of mystery behind Kamala, which makes for a few interesting phases in the first half, though the director pops in a few needless scenes to mislead you.

The laziest writing is reserved for the part where the mystery about Kamala is revealed. The whole story is told to Zafar by a journalist friend over phone, rather than as his finding it out with some effort or sheer luck.

By then, the filmmaker’s focus is on the chosen issues, like he does for most of his works. Here, it happens to be the questions on development and displacement. But, there is no attempt to go deep into any of these. It is the same old business of ticking checkboxes. In Kamala, the thrills are few and far between, part of which is marred by a somewhat plastic treatment.

S.R. Praveen

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 8:46:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/losing-the-plot-in-a-bid-to-tick-checkboxes/article30126688.ece

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