Kayam Malayalam Movie ReviewFeature Film
Anil's 'Kayam' has the tagline 'Mysteries of the Mind' that should probably refer to the inexplicable ways in which the mind works. What is mysterious about the film itself, are the unexplainable ways in which the story is pulled this way and that until it finally forms a noose around its own neck and chokes on it.
The film centers around Thamara (Shwetha Menon) who is abducted from some faraway shore by Choonda (Manoj K Jayan), who later marries her. Choonda's adversary Raghu (Anil Murali) hopes to get the better of him through the village Kabbaddi match, and brings in a star player Sajikuttan (Bala)as his opponent. But as fate would have it, Sajikuttan turns out to be Choonda's long-lost brother, much to Raghu's dismay.
'Kayam' cashes in on the enticing beauty that Shwetha Menon is, and there are numerous references to what a beguiling woman she is. It is the male gaze that speaks in the film, as man after man go crazy over her magnetism and some even get drowned in a whirlpool of lust.
The character that Shwetha plays in 'Kayam' is the archetypal femme fatale, who has over the years undergone a transformation in films. Here she is placed in a rural setting, and gets to interact with unrefined men who are quite forthright about what they want from her. She is forced to share her bed with a man whom she despises, and when he gets killed, she is more than relieved.
When she falls in love with Sajikuttan, its with an equal ferocity and it doesn't least perturb her that his interests lay elsewhere. She has no qualms in admitting her forbidden affection and wouldn't mind even killing someone to spend her life with the man she loves.
Perhaps all this makes for interesting film material, but 'Kayam' is too big a disappointment as a film. The entire first half moves ahead with no sense of direction and when the latter half follows suit, it all turns quite rancid. The instant appeal that the viewer is expected to develop towards the Khalnayika character that Thamara is, unfortunately never occurs.
Shwetha is real good in 'Kayam', and it's not just her seductive charms that are at work here. She does have that imminent quality in her that helps her make the most unbelievable of characters appear believable on screen. With some better writing, she could have done an awesome lot more that she already has as Thamara. Another actor who impresses us much in the film is Anil Murali who is as villainous as an actor gets.
'Kayam' never manages to grab the audience fully or even partially, and is likely to be forgotten very, very quickly. The non-happenings in the script are the most confounding mysteries since they seem to be there for no reason except that they have been written down somewhere. 'Kayam' is one of those movies that you dive deep into nevertheless, just to see for yourself what all dreary things are still left in store.