King Of Kotha Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Shabeer Kallarakkal, Prasanna, Gokul Suresh, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Saran Shakthi, Chemban Vinod Jose, Shammi Thilakan

Director: Abilash Joshiy

King of Kotha Movie Review
King Of Kotha Movie Review Out! (Photo Credit –Instagram)

What’s Good: The fact that Dulquer Salmaan is playing a stylish gangster in a noir-like drama directed by Joshiy’s prodigy

What’s Bad: The story taking the most predictable route delivering the typical gangster-drama cliches one after another

Loo Break: It’s an almost 3 hour film & you’d crave for multiple loo-breaks, not one

Watch or Not?: Only if you like to watch a film to appreciate its production design, direction & background score

Available On: Theatrical Release

Runtime: 2 hours 53 minutes

User Rating:

Following every existing gangster film cliche, we’re introduced to a fictional place which is divided into 2 worlds – the privileged class & the criminals and how a policeman is transferred to bring peace. Also, how upon landing there he gets to know the reality and how brutal the dons here are, so he decides to call the good don who left the place a decade ago but now only he’ll be able to tame the bad guys of the town. How many Gangster films you’ve seen portraying this story? The answer to that also portrays the number of flaws this one has.

The fictional place is Kotha, situated near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and the non-linear storyline moves back and forth from 1996 to 1986 and more. The ‘King of Kotha’ comes with the most common name you’d ever see a filmy Gangster named as, Raju (Dulquer Salmaan). Yep, imagine a dark, hazy & full-of-swag entrance of a crime-lord and a person named ‘Raju’ enters as the King.

After a flashback sequence to Raju’s origin story, we get to see how he returns after a decade to Kotha to tame Kannan Bhai (Shabeer Kallarakkal), who’s now the current hoodlum of the area. Plot twist: They both were in the same gang but got away due to another typical Gangster-film-style cliche, one had to become richer by dealing in drugs but other didn’t want to. Now, if you’ve seen enough crime dramas, you know who’s who and what would happen next.

King of Kotha Movie Review
King Of Kotha Movie Review Out! (Photo Credit –Imdb)

King of Kotha Movie Review: Script Analysis

It’s indeed a stylish debut by Abilash Joshiy (son of Joshiy, the catalyst to some swanky actioners in Malayalam cinema) but it’s restricted heavily by Abhilash N. Chandran’s run-of-the-mill story. You’d love to watch what’s happening, not for what’s happening in those scenes but for how everything is executed and that’s the main problem of this Dulquer Salmaan starrer.

You’d like to watch it for Nimesh M Thanoor’s utopian westernised production design but Shyam Sasidharan’s snail-paced editing (barring few good action sequences) would apply brakes at regular intervals completely sucking out the interest. Cinematographer Nimish Ravi (Rorschach, Kurup) continues to weave the magic with his camerawork delivering one of the stylish POV combat sequences in utmost style.

King of Kotha Movie Review: Star Performance

Dulquer Salmaan maintains the swag of being a gifted actor presenting his kaleidoscopic self in a motley of subjects. He’s as stylish as bad*ss and as heartwarming as Raju but that doesn’t do any justice to the narrative because of the things he’s made to do. Shabeer Kallarakkal as Kannan Bhai starts brilliantly but is reduced to being an useless sidekick. Despite playing such an important role in Raju’s life, his character is never developed to register a deeper connection.

Prasanna & Gokul Suresh as the two policemen are used just as postmen to deliver the non-linear storyline with ease, nothing more nothing less. Aishwarya Lekshmi as Tara, Raju’s love interest rarely get a chance to be more than the love interest and when she gets it, she’s sent off. Shammi Thilakan as Raju’s father Kotha Ravi is impactful and earnest in his little role.

King of Kotha Movie Review
King Of Kotha Movie Review Out! (Photo Credit –Imdb)

King of Kotha Movie Review: Direction, Music

Director Abilash Joshiy presents similar shades of noir coupled with beautiful colour-grading like his father and delivers a promise of doing great with a better script. It would be extremely interesting to see where does he goes from here. If he directs something like Avane Srimannarayana, many of us will be “shut up and take my money.”

Jakes Bejoy’s background score matches the stunning visuals helping to elevate the watching experience of certain scenes. The songs used throughout reminds us of Vikram’s soundtrack, which got its recognition because of the story’s engrossing drama.

King of Kotha Movie Review: The Last Word

All said and done, this Dulquer Salmaan starrer is no Beeshma Parwam! It’s bad*ss, has enough style but lacks the essential substance that binds everything else together. A missed opportunity!

King of Kotha Trailer

King of Kotha releases on 26th August 2023.

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For more recommendations, read our 2018 Movie Review here.

Must Read: Maamannan Movie Review: A Conversation So Important That You Might Even Want To Ignore The Flaws

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