Kammattippaadam Malayalam Movie Review
It remains that the tallest skyscrapers that arrogantly loom large against the city skylines is built on the crushed lives of several beings with crusted and dried blood lines running all over them. Rajeev Ravi's murky film 'Kammattipadam' offers a reeking, real take on displacement and its appalling aftermath that leaves life and its remnants strewn all over.
'Kammattipadam' follows Krishnan (Dulquer Salman) who returns from Mumbai on his best friend Ganga's (Vinayakan) behest to Kammattipadam, the barren slum land where they had grown up together. Krishnan finds none of those old abodes around and instead looks up at the giant concrete structures that have taken their place.
Rajeev Ravi has proven himself to be a master in detailing, and in his third feature film, he carries it even further forward, by paying exhaustive attention to every scene. The film maker is obviously in no hurry, and neither is his film, that takes its own time to etch out in clear-cut detail the characters that make up its plot.
The narrative design in 'Kammattipadam' gestates gradually with fruitful results, despite the terribly harrowing lanes that it drives us through. It goes without doubt that 'Kammattipadam' is one of the most brilliantly articulated films in recent times that gallantly stands on its own, and it would be unfair hence to compare it with other language films that fall in the same genre.
It s evident that Ravi is comfortable with his settings, and the script that shows a profound understanding of the people in it amply aids the narrative construction. The hyper violent story line is gruesome and gory to the core, and even as blood is splattered all over the screen, it creeps way under your skin and stay right there.
I do wish however that Ravi had not agreed to settle for a decidedly cinematic climax that almost stands apart as a disparate bit, refusing to adapt itself to the highly realistic tone that the rest of the film flamboyantly displays. It's precisely this winning line that gets blurred in the final moments of the film, although for a very short while.
'Kammattipadam' has an array of masterly performances that are led by the inimitable Vinayakan and the amazingly unsullied talent Manikandan. Shaun Romy makes an impressive debut as the dusky doe eyed Anitha. And of course there is Dulquer Salman who shares the credit with this uncanny ensemble, and who is simply getting better with each film, mixing up just about the right amount of broodiness and an old world charm into his portrayal of Krishnan. There are a couple surprise packets as well, courtesy Soubin Shahir and Shine Tom Chacko.
Madhu Neelakantan is at his very best in 'Kammattipadam', and comes up with a series of irresistible frames that bore deep into the psyche of a fast evolving metro city. He does move beyond those tangential sights and focuses his camera on the emotions that are dispersed all around; an outwardly unattainable accomplishment that does work out remarkably well. The rumbling background score that rattles on along with the narrative, delightfully fuses itself into it.
'Kammattipadam' is a gritty, many-sided film that deftly captures a few overlapping lives in a thriving new city. Very rarely relaxing its grip on the viewer, Rajeev Ravi's film is a seething, unsettling cinematic feat that is replete with surprises and shocks galore.
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