Director : Manu Warrier
Cast:Prithviraj, Roshan Mathew, Mamukkoya, Srindaa, Murali Gopy, Shine Tom Chacko, Manikandarajan and others.
Cinematography: Abinandan Ramanujam
Story, Screenplay, dialogues: Anish Pallyal
Music: Jakes Bejoy.
Director Manu Warrier’s Kuruthi is an intense, interesting drama about the conflict between a group that is determined to kill and an individual who has undertaken an oath to protect.
In the process, the film highlights the fragile, complex and dynamic nature of interpersonal relationships between people belonging to different faiths.
The story revolves around Ibrahim (Roshan Mathew), a rubber plantation worker living with his father Moosa (Mamukkoya) and brother Resul (Nadeem), deep inside a forest, far away from the bustling city life.
Ibrahim alias Ibru has been unable to fill the emptiness he feels in his life after the demise of his wife and infant daughter, both of whom he lost to a landslide a year ago.
The only neighbour that Ibrahim has in the forest is a Hindu called Preman (Manikandarajan). The man, who lives with his sister Sumathi (Srindaa) alias Suma, is good friends with Ibru because their fates and lives are very much similar. Preman too is battling loneliness after losing his wife to the same landlslide that claimed Ibru’s wife and daughter.
The bond between the two families is quite strong so much so that Suma has repeatedly expressed her desire to wed Ibru.
Life is hard but peaceful and both families live in complete harmony.
One night, all that changes when a Sub-inspector of Police Sathyan ( Murali Gopy) barges into Ibru’s home with a Hindu teenager, suspected of murdering an elderly Muslim shopkeeper.
It is evident that the cop has managed to escape an attack on him and his captive, who, he intends to bring to justice. However, stuck deep in the forest at night and being pursued by members of one community who will have nothing but revenge for the death of one of their own, the cop has no other option but to seek refuge at Ibru’s home until dawn.
Ibru and his family members are shocked at this sudden turn of events. Before long, more trouble arrives at Ibru’s door in the form of Kareem (Shine Tom Chacko), a man who believes in exacting an eye for an eye.
Kareem is not alone. He brings along with him Laiq (Prithviraj), a rebel with a penchant for violence, and another member from the community. They are all on a hunt and the person they are hunting is the Hindu suspect in the SI’s custody.
The developments that follow are grim, bloody, interesting and realistic….
Manju Warrier takes his time in setting the pace of the story. The story starts off on a slow note and proceeds at a leisurely pace for a good 20 minutes. Nothing during this period even gives you an inkling of the tense moments that are to follow.
At one point, the story takes a sudden turn and begins to pick up steam. From then on, till the end, the story is gripping with characters showcasing different shades, making it an absolute delight for those interested in human psychology.
The rapid pace at which loyalties get switched is something that not many films have dared to showcase until now and full marks to Manu for having had the courage to showcase human nature as it is.
The film might not be your conventional thriller. But then, it offers an interesting insight in to human nature and attempts to treat realistically a situation which is now fast becoming a reality in several parts of the country.
The film has some fantastic performances coming from its cast, starting with Roshan Mathew, who plays the deeply religious but conscientious and considerate human being, Ibrahim. His expressions are subtle but they are exemplary so much so you don’t need any dialogues to understand the situation.
Matching him move for move is Srindaa, who plays Suma to perfection. Srindaa handles an extremely difficult character, which has to be soft-spoken but also firm at the same time, with considerable ease. Both these characters are the pivots around which the film moves.
Three other performances lift the film to another level altogether. One is that of Murali Gopy who plays the SI, Sathyan. He appears for only a brief period in the film but manages to stamp his class within that short period.
The second performance comes from someone who has already proved his acting skills. Prithviraj delivers yet again and it comes as no surprise.
The third most important perfomance that makes a big difference comes from Mamukkoya, who plays Moosa. The way Moosa transforms from being an annoyed, frustrated, ill-tempered, foul-mouthed patient into a capable fighter when the situation calls for it, is just something else. It is a sterling performance and the veteran delivers it with panache.
Jakes Bejoy’s numbers aren’t the most melodious that we have heard. But his background score is apt and adds immense value to the film. Abinandan Ramanujam’s cinematography too is just like Bejoy’s music. It is purposeful.
Without doubt, director Manu Warrier’s Kuruthi is worth a watch!