Cast: Mohanlal, Mammootty, Rahman, Karthika
In one of the scenes, Inspector Achuthankutty (Mohanlal) starts interrogating a suspect in a nice and easy tone. But the moment he begins to feel that the suspect is not being co-operative, he immediately shifts to a no-nonsense tone and gets into the suspect’s head that he means business. He doesn’t shout his head off or make a scene. He stays in character and makes sure that the message comes across properly.
It is these kind of scenes that makes you wistfully remember the earlierMalayalam movies. In the Malayalam movies of the eighties and a most of the movies of the nineties, you didn’t have stars playing larger than life characters. In those days everybody were actors who played everyday life characters. So, the lady playing the jealous wife could be Usha aunty in the neighbourhood, the star besotted 18 year old could be your classmate.
Kariyila Kattu Pole, directed by P. Padmarajan, is about the death of a famous director Harikrishnan (Mammootty) and the investigation that follows to unravel the mystery.
The beauty of this as a suspense movie is that every time you are guided to different set of people all of whom u are convinced have a strong reason to be the murderer. In fact, after some minutes of the second half you are convinced that you know who the killer is and you view the rest of the movie with an academic interest. Its önly in the last 10 mins that realisation dawns in that not only was your hunch wrong, but also that there were clues and hints about the real killer in the movie. But the clues were very subtle even for the discerning viewer to take note.
That is just what makes a good suspense movie stand out. It should not cheat the audience by withholding a vital piece of info. The audience must also have a chance to guess the identity of the killer. The story writer’s job to provide a strong Red Herring that will deflect the audience from the real McCoy. In this regard, Kariyila Kattu Pole comes up in trumps.
The story is a very interesting one, which also draws parallel with the dead director’s unfinished novel. It keeps the audience hooked one till the end. The only point that I found a bit jarring was the assumption that a Director could have such fame and adoration among his fans. In fact, it’s one of the pivotal points of the plot. But then, perhaps it was Pappettan’s wishful thinking coming through! Otherwise baring sometimes too loud background score, the movie’s perfect in every other way. A must watch movie.