Kaanekkaane Cast: Tovino Thomas, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Alok Krishna, Shruti Ramachandran, Prem Prakash
Kaanekkaane Director: Manu Ashokan
Where to Watch: Sony LIV
Malayalam cinema is the most unique film industry in the country as in few filmmakers across the board are so committed to realism as Malayali creators are, and yet they manage to pull it off with sufficient commercial elements to make their films palatable for a wide range of audience. Recent examples itself include such gems as Kumbalangi Nights, Ayyappanum Koshiyum, Ee Ma Yau, Angamaly Diaries, and, to an extent, even
Drishyam 1 and 2. Now comes another in this breed, Kaanekkaane, starring Tovino Thomas, Suraj Venjaramoodu and Aishwarya Lekshmi, directed by Manu Ashokan, and written by celebrated new-wave duo, Bobby and Sanjay. So, does it join the league? Well, though it isn't as polished a gem like the ones mentioned above, the good news is that it does more than enough to sparkle brightly in its own right. So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Kaanekkaane is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Kaanekkaane review...
What's it about
Paul Mathai (
Suraj Venjaramoodu), who's visiting his son-in-law, Allen ( Tovino Thomas), a year after his daughter, Sherin (Shruti Ramachandran), died in accident, has made peace with the fact that his grandson, Kuttu (Alok Krishna), is now being raised by Allen's second wife, Sneha, ( Aishwarya Lekshmi), and nobody finds much time to visit or call him any longer. He's about to leave after spending some time with them when one photograph that catches his attention changed everything.
Watch the Kaanekkaane trailer below: VIDEO
Kaanekkaane is completely a writer's movie, and Bobby and Sanjay have pulled off an intricate web of dark emotions, familial discord, harsh realities, a life-altering decision, raw realism and an underlying mystery to boot with care, foresight and meticulousness, finely balancing seedy dubiousness with sensitivity and subtlety. It's so the kind of film where a Director needn't fidget around too much, and kudos Manu Ashokan for accepting this and strictly following the written material.
Finally, it's the kind of venture where such a complex screenplay needs surgically precise performances, and it's here where Kaanekkaane shines the most, with the lead trio of Tovino Thomas, Suraj Venjaramoodu and Aishwarya Lekshmi tapping into their reservoir of emotions and conveying every difficult scene with utmost conviction. They're well supported by the rest of the cast, especially
Shruti Ramachandran and Prem Prakash. It must be said though that Suraj Venjaramoodu is slightly a cut above the rest. And, finally, all the creative work is backed to the hilt by Alby Antony and Ranjin Raj's camerawork and background score, which perfectly osscilate between being laidback and showing a sense of urgency when required.
The two places where Kaanekkaane falters is in the middle portion, where the narrative lags a bit and both Manu Ashokan and his editor, Abhilash Balachandran, needed to be more on the money. Also, once the big reveal occurs pre-climax, the movie follows more or less a predictable path. If not for these obstacles, this would've been another classic added to Malayalam cinema.
It's tragic that Kaanekkaane suffers a bit, and only a bit, from some pedestrian editing and predictability toward the end. If not for these factors, Tovino Thomas, Suraj Venjaramoodu and Aishwarya Lekshmi's deep, dark ride through a gamut of human emotions in the face of one fateful decision would've been an instant classic. It falls just short, ending up as an unpolished gem, but a gem nevertheless of the new-wave movement in the Malayalam film industry. I'm going with 3.5 out of 5 stars.
3.5 out of 5
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