Kurup Movie Review: An interestingly designed biopic with ambitious storytelling ideas

Updated on Nov 13, 2021 02:33 AM IST  |  148.2K
   
Kurup Movie Review
Kurup Movie Review: An interestingly designed biopic with ambitious storytelling ideas

Title: Kurup

Kurup Director: Sreenath Rajendran.

Kurup Cast: Dulquer Salman, Indrajith Sukumaran, Shobitha Dhulipalia.

Rating: 3.5/5 

Review by: Arjun Menon 

Biopics have become a staple of mainstream entertainment these days. Modern storytellers seem to be fascinated with the unending possibilities put forward by narratives revolving around charismatic personalities and cultural Zeitgeist's of the bygone era. However, the genre comes with its own pitfalls, mainly a seeping in of cinematic excess in the service of commercial appeasement. Bollywood has been primarily responsible for this masala induced cradle to casket stories of criminal masterminds and notorious figures from our past. Kurup stands out for its maker’s fascination with one of the most hauntingly criminal acts in Kerala history.

Kurup is an inspired film which hits all the right notes in terms of its storytelling. The film is designed as a series of journal entries read out by a police officer, eavesdropping on the wild yet somewhat fascinating life of Sudhakara Kurup (the name is changed here for obvious reasons), a cold blooded conman who hoodwinked an entire state and its police machinery in the 80’s. Kurup ( Dulquer Salman) has become a sort of mythical figure in the Malayalee diaspora for all the wrong reasons and the film tries to capture the general mood surrounding the case that accentuated his status to a notorious criminal mastermind. The director Sreenath Rajendra is obviously enthralled by the scope and breadth of the life he is capturing and tries to bring in a lot objectivity in the storytelling although this doesn’t yield the necessary result more often than not.

The visuals reek of a sense of heightened nostalgia with beautifully constructed set pieces featuring the last part of the seventies and eighties with a brilliant synth-infused soundtrack by Sushin Shyam that effortlessly builds up the pace and allows the narrative to breathe. Kurup is structured like fragments of narrative threads bound together by versions of the story known to different characters or at least the ones that they are led to believe. The screenplay offers plenty of heroic moments to Dulquer which is balanced out with later payoffs that manages to reveal darker shades to Kurup, who otherwise might have walked away as a desi mass hero on the run from the system. The performances are great here and the actors manage to straighten out the rough edges put forth by the virtually non-existent characterizations except for the leading man.

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Duluqer shoulder the weight of the massive production and for never once looks passive as the scheming megalomaniac. The rest of the characters are primarily incidental to the screenplay with not much going on beneath the surface and existing only to alleviate the obstacles hurdled at the leading man. DYSP Krishnadas (Indrajith Sukumaran), who is leading the investigation against Kurup, registering his harrowing presence in a major one note part. The duo never share screen except for a pivotal scene towards the last act, a moment that is a testament of the inert masala-ness of the Kurup story.

The film takes its jab at alternate history towards the end and tries to imagine a what if? Scenario, placing Kurupu as the center piece of a world-wide criminal empire. The makers are clearly going all out with these ambitious final strokes in the post credit sequences, possibly hinting at bigger things to come, which seems like a distant reality considering the current covid situation. All that being said, Kurup is a major production done well, ticking all the boxes of quality commercial filmmaking. The film looks like a product of the highest technical finesse that does not lose its conscience, staying within its limits and sensitively dealing with the traumatic events that look empathetic on screen and not mere gimmicks to drive home any point.

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Also Read: Kurup Twitter Review: Dulquer Salmaan's crime thriller is a hit or flop? Check out what audience has to say


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