Kaanekkaane Moview Review: An emotionally draining drama with a focus on grief and guilt

Updated on Sep 17, 2021 07:22 PM IST  |  111.7K
Kaanekkaane movie review
Kaanekkaane Moview Review: An emotionally draining drama with a focus on grief and guilt

Movie title: Kaanekkaane

Director: Manu Ashokan

Starring: Tovino Thomas, Suraj Venjaramoodu and Aishwarya Lekshmi.

Streaming Platform : SonyLIV 

Rating: 3/5

Review by Arjun Menon


Grief and guilt are often interchangeable entities, constantly engaged in a tussle trying to side step each other in the darkest of hours. This seems to be the core conceit of Manu Ashokan’s emotionally draining drama Kaanekkaane that boasts of some of the finest performances from Malayalam cinema, this year. This is a grim character piece that attempts to peel away at human frailties in carrying out the morally right actions at all times. The writer’s Bobby and Sanjay, continue their long-standing tradition of picking a novel narrative hook as the platform to accommodate flawed individuals on the lookout for redemption, groaning and punching to stay afloat in the frenzy.

Kaanekkaane has a plot that is merely incidental and offers no scope for definitive character arcs or revelations - instead the screenplay is interested in observing its characters from afar, sans any judgement.  The whole film can be summed up in a single line –  this conceptual simplicity helps the movie in surprising us at each turn, with one complicated moral question after the other shoved at our faces devoid of any easy payoffs. The plot might seem too simplistic and yet the whole experience hinges on the ability of the actors on screen to illicit apathy for the characters caught in a moral dilemma.

Suraj Venjarumoodu as the aging father grieving the loss of a loved one, holds the whole morality exercise in place. Suraj’s performance is so understated yet it packs a gut punch as he layers the lines with a sort of dread that comes from the instincts of a seasoned performer drenched in real, flawed human experiences. Sneha (Aishwarya Lekshmi) appears to be lacking a certain clarity in her pitch in some places but stands out with subdued emotions in other scenes in the latter half of the movie. Alan played by Tovino Thomas gets the tougher end of the deal, as he has to make do with a part that can come off as being despicable on paper yet forced to redeem himself from an outrageous moral lapse in a past moment of crisis. The complicated situation that these two men get themselves in sets off the narrative in dual directions with feeling of guilt and grief taking central stage.


Another film might have given us a banter heavy - stagey drama with gimmicks aimed at cashing on the inert melodrama of the central idea, however the director and writers bring in a lot of integrity to the story and downplays any chance in over dramatization of the material. Having said that, the background score provided by Ranjin Raj seems to be out of sync in places from the total vision of the film with its loud, dramatic beats tediously undercutting the subtler scenes. The filmmaking is pretty basic and the constant cut back and forth in time helps to keep the novelty intact and the tonal shifts come across seamless.

Kaanekkaane is a film belonging to its performers and the movie belong to the three main players caught in a tangle that is a challenging position beyond reprehension. The movie engages with its clear, coherent character work, its self-contained moral takeaways and amazing performances. This film sheds some light on the darkest pitfalls of human nature that has not been delved with much finesse that sure sheds some light on the dark edges of our souls that stay hidden under the seemingly perfect outside.


Check out the film's trailer below: 

Also Read: Maestro Movie Review: This 'Andhadhun' remake is a mixed package