A Delicious Home Watch!
What Is the Film About?
Nair’s henchmen lose a rare Faberge egg that’s worth two hundred crores. Anupama (Priyamani) is a housewife who also has an eye and ear on all the happenings around her. Her detective instincts land her in trouble with fellow apartment-mates.
How the egg travels to the apartment of Anupama, and she gets entangled in the murder and mystery that follows in its wake is the thriller’s core premise.
Priyamani is the soul of Bhama Kalapam. Without her, the movie wouldn’t be what it is now. She brings an intensity and dramatic flair to the part that holds our attention. It is absolutely necessary for the movie to work. She easily blends the housewife part with that of a small-time detective persona. The tension and confidence to proceed under pressure are equally well conveyed. Anupama is a memorable part for Priyamani in recent times and if the movie succeeds maybe we could see more of her in future.
Abhimanyu directs Bhama Kalapam. It is a thriller with elements of crime comedy and dark comedy thrown in in equal measures.
The opening doesn’t exactly set the confidence high and gives an amateurish vibe. Be it the opening religious monologue or the funny quarrel inside a van, they could have been more dramatically executed. However, the purpose is served and we get the importance of the ‘egg’.
It is when the character of Anupama and her world (in an apartment setting) is introduced that we are slowly hooked to the narrative. Her characterisation and window acting as a motif to her adventure are well done.
Right from the initial busting of suspicion to actually being at the site of a murder, the narrative is built with care. The various characters, the atmosphere of a normal apartment are all nicely done.
The actual story begins when Anupama is involved in a murder mystery, and a police investigation commences later.
The whole thing could fall flat without proper screenplay as the narrative takes place within a day or two. The small moments carry weight, as a result, and the background score amplifies the intensity. One is genuinely hooked to the proceedings to see how Anupama gets out of the mess she has found herself in.
The setup and take-off of the murder mystery and thrills associated with it are superb. But, when it comes to survival and finding the killer, the narrative takes certain liberties. They are done as well as others, but some far-fetched situations create plot holes. Some things happen so conveniently and no one blinks an eyelid.
Still, it is to the credit of the direction, and tense background scores that one is focused on the narrative. The timely comic punches also hold interest.
Ultimately, everything boils down to the final revelation of the killer and how convincingly it’s done. Here it is a mixed bag. The positive aspect is the unpredictability and maintenance of the intensity. The other end is the over the top and far fetched feel. If the former dominates, one might find Bhala Kalapam to be more engaging and chilling. If it’s not, you have a passable thriller. The suspense revelation is the deal-breaker here.
Overall, Bhama Kalapam is a well-done mystery thriller meets crime comedy that holds interest more than it doesn’t. There is a crucial block depending on which things can go further high or stay at the same level. Irrespective of the case, it is an easy one time watch.
Saranya Pradeep and Kancherapalem Kishore are superb. They fill the narrative with their sincere and well-defined character. The former adds to the tension with his nervousness whereas the latter in an A set of mostly non-regular faces are seen in the movie. They are all effective like don Nair or his two dumb musclemen. Greeshma as investigating officer and her old subordinate are well cast. They bring seriousness to the proceedings. The rest of the cast is adequate.
Music and Other Departments?
Justin Prabhakaran provides the music. They are montage bits that go with the flow. The background score by Mark K Robin is excellent. A key bit is eerily similar to Squid Games music, though. But, that similarity aside BGM is superb and elevates the proceedings. It helps in maintaining the gripping quality throughout. The editing by Viplav Nyshadam is slick despite the slow pace. The writing is good in parts.
Divisive Suspense Revelation
Convenient Writing At Times
The ending from the perspective of Anupama’s character tying all the loose ends would be an exciting alternative take.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Bhama Kalapam Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti