Star Cast: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Roshan Mathew, Srindaa, Shine Tom Chacko, Murali Gopy and team.
Director: Manu Warrier
What’s Good: It takes efforts to choose a conversation as sensitive as religious hatred, and then show its evil in a fictional tale that never takes sides. My heart is happy and traumatised. Also, can Roshan Mathew tell us the secret of being the most intriguing actor in a room that also has Prithviraj?
What’s Bad: The script touches some pivotal evils from our system but never takes the conversation about them ahead.
Loo Break: No, you shouldn’t at all. The movie might force you to take some pauses due to anxiety; use those for good.
Watch or Not?: Please do! I have vouched for good Malayalam cinema in every way possible, and those are the only two words left. For the sake of good acting performances, story, screenplay and camera work, watch Kuruthi.
Language: Malayalam (with English subtitles)
Available on: Amazon Prime Video
Ibrahim, aka Ibru, is a man living in a small town with the trauma of his past. He lost his daughter and wife to a horrific landslide and is living a life which he counts as excess. One night suddenly, a knock on the door brings in a wounded police officer with a prisoner. A Muslim family is stuck in a house with a Hindu murderer guilty of killing a Muslim man. The victim’s son is on a hunting spree for the Hindu guy and the night unfolds its horror as dynamics change, religious fanaticism takes over, and relationships are put to test. PS: Kuruthi means ‘The Holy Slaughter’.
Kuruthi Movie Review: Script Analysis
Heads up, if people discussing the evils of religious fanaticism are not your jam, head back right away. Neither am I your gig, nor is the film made for you. Kuruthi written by Anish Pallyal is a compression of the current state of major parts of our country in a house. Anish writes a story where two of the most spoken about religions come under one roof, and their devotion is questioned.
It isn’t about being human and helping another on the basis of his humanity or the lack of it. It is about a section that feels killing the people from another clan is the ultimate solution. Pallyal is clearly aware of the fact that fanatics are highly discussed in cinema and they get the more significant share. So he ends up highlighting the ones who have an iota of humanity left in them and how they use it while life flickers in front of their eyes.
For this, he creates Ibrahim (Roshan Mathew) and Sumati (Srindaa). One Muslim another Hindu respectively. Sumati loves Ibru, but the latter is not ready to fall in love again, as the last time he was destroyed. When the hell breaks loose, Ibru’s humanity evokes and thinks of saving lives regardless of religion. But Sumati is not just a human, but a hint of fanaticism exists in her too. When questioned how can the murderer kill the man and walk away easily, she says, “what if your mosque was broken like our temple?”. You see her surroundings overpowering on her but, the bit of humanity saves the day.
So is every single character who is on either side of the spectrum and following an ideology. Ibru’s younger brother is a brain-washed young man who hates Hindus because be is told to by the one who brainwashed him. His character arc is so nerve-wrecking that even when he moves his hands after one point, we are afraid. All the 10 people stuck in that house the horrific night have their ideologies and motives. But the ultimate grind is to save their own lives.
Of course, it is clearly the exploration of monsters within in general. Prithviraj’s Liaq is a complete monster and he only knows vengeance. He is the most mysterious character and I will let him be for you. Watch out for the last frame where he knows he has created a monster and that his evil legacy is passed on successful. We are a by-product of the same thought.
Kuruthi does lack somewhere. The script touches on topics like reservation, minority, how the majority suffers due to it. But just in a scene without really exploring it further. I understand it is to build up the murdered and talk about his motivation, but the conversation definitely deserved more.
Kuruthi Movie Review: Star Performance
Roshan Mathew is one of the best things to happen to Malayalam cinema. I adore his tenderness and how he uses it in his portrayals. Remember in Moothon as Ameer, how shattered he is when he sees himself going away from Akbar? Hold that feeling and imagine Mathew having it for straight 2 hours.
Prithviraj is a powerhouse, and here he has to stand tall in front of Mathew who is at his best. The actor becomes the monster, and for not a moment, he is the adorable actor we know of. His red sneakers symbolise blood and so does his eyes that erupt vengeance. Srindaa is a gifted actor, truly effortless. The change in stance and the body language over the course of the film in Sumati is visible and commendable.
Kuruthi Movie Review: Direction, Music
Let’s appreciate Supriya Menon first for putting money in the right place. Having influence is a thing, using it for the correct cause is another, the latter matters. Director Manu Warrier takes what Anish Pallyal writes to another level. She creates a visually chilling world. You can almost call it a horror drama. But the horror we live in.
Manu decides to make all these characters have the script but also be unprepared for everything that happens over the night that is shattering. Abhinandan Ramanujam’s camera helps Manu to create this spooky world. What looks like a green, vibrant happy world by the day becomes a dreadful landscape by night. And the camera captures the emotion just right.
Jakes Bejoy’s music is perfect and creates the right impact needed.
Kuruthi Movie Review: The Last Word
The fact that a mainstream Malayalam superstar is acting in a film as sensitive as this, a budding brilliant actor has okay with being vulnerable, is enough to tell you about the heights the industry is achieving. Kuruthi is a conversation that is much needed. Watch it to check which side of the spectrum you are, question yourself and your stand. You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video.
Kuruthi releases on 11th August, 2021.
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