Kadaksham Malayalam Movie Review
Kadaksham appears like a meandering film that so badly wants to communicate something, but that never really finds a way to do so. The complicated trappings that you normally associate with a story as the one that Kadaksham tells are never there, and ultimately nothing much appears new here, nor true.
There are two tales that run parallel to each other in the film. On the one hand, there is Nathan (Suresh Gopi) and Revathy (Swetha Menon) who have seen the best days in their marriage and who have learned to live with (or rather without) each other. Their housemaid Janaki (Swetha Vijay) on the other hand harbors a constant dread about the future of her fast growing daughter and moves about putting up fences in her protection.
The events that make up the most important junctures in Kadaksham appear contrived. Nathan and Revathy for instance, decide to go their separate ways because the latter murmurs the name of her former lover in her sleep. Nathan who is a painter, starts experiencing a painter's block and Revathy realizing that she's the cause leaves him alone and flies away to a foreign university. Pretty good, except that the way in which the whole sequence unfolds on screen, makes it look like child's play.
The last ten minutes of Kadaksham is what makes you finally sit up. The twist that arrives is a relief indeed, or this tale would have ended up quite bland. The twist does throw a surprise, but I am not sure how convincing this surprise is, when you take the entire length of the film. This is because, it almost appears like the twist was where the film started off, and the rest of it was written backwards to suit the twist. What I mean to say is, it's questionable as to how far the rest of the story merges effortlessly with this sudden disclosure.
Even more unsettling is the irrationality that arises out of this twist. I couldn't for a moment understand what it was that prompted Nathan to regain his faith in his wife. It didn't make sense that he wakes up one fine morning to make a discovery about his housemaid, and all on a sudden it changes his equations with his wife!
The film extensively talks about woman being relegated to a sex object. The very first scene where you get to see a man lurking behind a young girl vouchsafes the fact. There are any number of scenes though in the film itself where its leading women are treated as objects of male gratification. Even if it was purposeful, to drive home the trauma of being 'stared at', it often appears pointless and at times even distasteful.
Suresh Gopi as Nathan exudes a coldness that is at times off-putting. Perhaps trying to come to terms with the character who has had enough with his life, Suresh tries hard but eventually appears bored. Shwetha Menon plays the relatively less complex of the two female roles, and does so with ease. Shwetha Vijay delivers a mixed-bag performance and goes overboard at times and is remarkably composed at others.
Kadaksham attempts to explore identity, reality and sex in an ever changing scenario, but ends up being frustratingly convoluted. For the most part it appears shapeless and often too much conscious of its own self.
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