Krishnankutty Pani Thudangi Malayalam Movie Review

Feature Film
Krishnankutty Pani Thudangi scores high in atmospherics and is gripping until about the intermission. Up to that point, it reminded me of Akam, the 2011 film starring Fahadh Faasil, in weird ways. But then, the film loses steam as the makers reveal the darker secrets of the bungalow.
Apr 17, 2021 By Sreejith Mullappilly

For the most part, Sooraj Tom's Krishnankutty Pani Thudangi has the look and feel of a haunted house horror film. In it, Unnikrishnan goes to Beatrice's remote house to work there as her grandfather's home nurse. It is a house set in a forest-like area with cell signal issues. Maybe that is why Beatrice tells Unnikrishnan to come again for work when her parents are home. Perhaps she is afraid to spend a few hours with a stranger and her disabled grandfather. Soon, Unnikrishnan starts to experience the paranormal stuff as he discovers hidden secrets of the house.


There is not much of a story in this Zee5 flick. It briefly talks about how the feeling of fear is firmly fixed in our mind thanks to the folklore from our ancestors. Krishnankutty is also one of those spooky stories that grannies tell their grandchildren at night. He is a person who walks around the village in Kathakali make-up to scare the living daylights out of the villagers. Unnikrishnan knows about him from his village's people. Unnikrishnan's behavior suggests that he has been having a fear issue since his younger days, but the movie does not quite explore that.


Krishnankutty Pani Thudangi is a strange title. The title has little to do with the story of the movie itself. Unnikrishnan brings up Krishnankutty in his conversations with Beatrice, but his role kind of starts and ends there. So, why is the movie named after him? I have no clue. It could be that it is a catchy title.


The whole point of lowbrow films such as this is to entertain us or make us think in some way. But the amount of gore in Krishnankutty Pani Thudangi is so less that it does not quite justify the genre it ultimately belongs to. The movie is for a specific audience who likes the creepy stuff, so what is the point of not being as gory as possible?


The movie is pretty high in atmospherics and is gripping until about the intermission. Up to that point, it reminded me of Akam, the 2011 film starring Fahadh Faasil in one of his great early performances. But then, the film loses steam as the makers reveal the darker secrets of the bungalow.


Jithu Damodar's camera work and Anand Madhusoodanan's music help to build considerable intrigue in the film's early portions. Vishnu Unnikrishnan's language with the Thrissur slang is amusing at first, but it becomes amateurish and very distracting later. Vijilesh Karayad (whom you might remember from Maheshinte Prathikaram) also has a decent cameo role here. But it is young Saniya Iyappan who does the thankless job of trying to hold our attention throughout. Saniya is earnest in her portrayal of Beatrice, but she struggles a bit in dialogue delivery. Anyhow, the fault does not lie with her. Anand Madhusoodanan's script and the movie's production values never really allow the low-budget shocker to rise above an ordinary level.


Sreejith Mullappilly

   

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