Kayamkulam Kochunni Review

There is no paucity for the concocted tales in history about this infamous robber, who lived in the 19th century in the erstwhile Travancore. Here writers Bobby and Sanjay unveil for us the pages that have full of virtuous deeds performed by Kayamkulam Kochunni. When director Rosshan Andrrews visualizes it with his most unique approach, 'Kayamakulam Kochunni' blurts out its aesthetic feature immersed in splendid visuals and smartly conceived craft.


The screenplay is fully dedicated to unraveling the positive side of Kochunni, played by Nivin Pauly. Rosshan starts by vividly narrating the social milieu of the 1830s. Moving ahead, Kochunni witnesses the atrocities done by the British and the native Brahmin gentries. The deep-rooted division in the name of caste and religion is perfectly conveyed throughout.


Kochunni has been portrayed as compassionate 'thief', who fights against social evils and injustice, including untouchability, caste system and oppression of the lower section in the society. Born to poor Muslim parents, he too faces religious discrimination. At first, Kalari maestro Thangal (Babu Antony) turns down his desire to become his disciple. Thangal also points to the criminal background of his father. But eventually, the supremely talented Kochunni wins the Kalari exponent's heart. Janaki (Priya Anand), a servant, also plays a part in it.


The turning point of Kochunni's life comes when he is deceived by the upper-class Brahmins, who are loyal to the British administration. They accuse him of theft and then the horrific physical torture ensues. Now the stage is set for the introduction of another highway bandit Ithikkara Pakki. Mohanlal in his cameo role as Pakki lends a fresh energy to the plot and Rosshan has brilliantly handled the portions of Mohanlal to exploit lavishly his versatility.


Kochunni with his gang helps the poor by stealing the valuables from aristocratic folk and rich pedestrians at night. Sunny Wayne's Kesava Kuruppu is the antagonist, who is always looking for trapping Kochunni. Shine Tom Chacko's Kochupillai and Manikandan Achari's Vava are the close friends of Kochunni. In his life, the betrayal from unexpected sides simply shatters Kochunni.


Nivin Pauly's agility is the highlight of his portrayal of the protagonist. More than the emotional expressions, what matters importantly is his flexibility in the transformation from a timid youth to the most-feared thief. Priya Anad shines effectively in the narration with her significant contribution.


You get only a slice of the eventful life of a compassionate 'thief.' Scenarists Bobby and Sanjay have deftly tweaked the tale from 'Aithihyamala' authored by Kottarathil Sankunni for the filmic purpose. Answers are pending for the possible questions with regards to the protagonist's real life. Yet, it remains an admiringly created and smartly narrated movie by Rosshan.


'Kayamkulam Kochunni' is rich with splendid visuals, and the lion's share of laurels fall on cinematographer Binod Pradhan. Veteran editor Sreekar Prasad could have sought a better option for the trimming of this 170.54 minutes film. Gopi Sundar's music shows consistency only in parts.

You get only a slice of the eventful life of a compassionate 'thief', who had petrified the rich in the erstwhile Travancore during the 19th century, in 'Kayamakulam Kochunni.' Writers Bobby and Sanjay have deftly tweaked the tale from 'Aithihyamala' authored by Kottarathil Sankunni for the filmic purpose. Yet, it remains an admiringly created and smartly narrated movie by director Rosshan Andrrews. (3.5) - K. R. Rejeesh

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