Captivating Criminal Biopic
2h 36m, ‘U/A’ Certified.
What Is the Film About?
Gopikrishna Kurup, aka Sudhakar Kurup (Dulquer Salman), is mischief from the beginning. He later becomes a thief and then a smuggler and finally takes it to the international level. All this while, a sincere cop Krishna Das is chasing him.
Kurup tells the thief’s story from the perspective of the police, who dedicates years to catch him. He writes down everything in a diary. What are its revelations, and how did Kurup’s story end is the movie’s plot.
Dulquar Salman plays a character that puts to use all his charm. He is seen in stylish costumes and dons various looks. He pulls off everything with ease.
The different looks are mostly to do with many moustaches and hairstyles. It is a walk in the park for him.
The brilliance lies in the simplicity of it all without going overboard. There are no deep emotional sequences or one-on-one challenges – everything is done subtly and with intensity. More than the performance, therefore, the challenge lies in the execution with Kurup.
Srinath Rajendran directs Kurup. It is based on a real-life most wanted criminal and fugitive, Sukumara Kurup. In Telugu, he is rechristened as Sudhakar Kurup. The film’s story is a biography of the criminal from his early days to the last known update.
The pace of the film is slow, and it is set in the opening few minutes itself. However, it is not an issue as one would lose track of the proceedings if it were done fast. There is so much content packed within the two and half hour duration. But, most of it is narrated captivatingly using the non-linear screenplay effectively.
The story tracks the journey of Kurup right from his early days at an Indian Airforce Training centre. The friendship with Peter is neatly established. However, it takes time to get to the point as some parts seem unnecessarily adding to the length. The same issues continue overall, even though one can say it adds to an emotional roundup.
The first half of the movie is seen from an external perspective on Kurup. It starts with his friend, and then others add to it. We see progress in the story with an element of suspense as nothing is known from the side of Kurup. The interval block is more like a pause in that regard rather than an actual one.
The story resumes in the second half, building on the intrigue from other perspectives. And then finally, in the last three-quarters or so, we see the Kurup’s side for all the events that have occurred. It is here that all the clarity to the doubts and confusions are laid to rest.
The recollecting of the same incidents from a different perspective is superbly handled. A few blocks are terrific and add mightily to the thrill. The whole hotel escape sequence, for example, is fantastic.
However, some bits at the same time appear muddy, lacking clarity or with extreme cinematic liberty. It is despite the best efforts by the makers to spell everything out. As there is too much happening, some events seem to be glossed over for a crisp narrative. It leads to a leap of faith in logic, in parts.
The climax is part of the muddled narrative. Its highlight is registered, but the lack of detailing (the how and the why’s) lead to little convolution and confusion. The recounting of the boat sequence has too much of a suspension of disbelief.
Overall, Kurup is a stylishly mounted crime biopic that delivers. Its stunning technical work overpowers the flaws and makes for an engrossing watch. If you want to watch something unique and engaging, Kurup is the movie this weekend.
Sobhita Dhulipala & Others?
Apart from Dulquar Salman, everyone else plays a supporting role in the movie. They appear in different stages of the life of Kurup, barring the police officer part essayed by Indrajith Sukumaran. He plays a sincere cop to perfection. However, too of it also makes it a little formulaic as far as the act is considered.
Shine Tom Chacko easily stands out among the crowd. He does his part well, as is expected from him and gives it a slight edge too. Sobhita Dhulipala is okay in a role that offers a romantic digression to the story. Sunny Wayne has a good role that ends abruptly, though. Tovino Thomas and Anupama Parameswaran in cameos add glitz to the casting besides doing their parts earnestly.
Music and Other Departments?
Sushin Shyam does the music and background score. The songs are alright, and they are few, but it’s the BGM that’s excellent. It lifts the mood of the film consistency and gives a racy feel throughout. The cinematography by Nimish Ravi is brilliant. Many frames appear like a painting capturing the various shades and colours of the bygone era. The editing by Vivek Harshan is fine, overall. The writing is neat and to the point most of the time.
Some Muddy Parts
Missing Logic (Cinematic Liberties) At Times
Kurup could do well with a leaner first act and adding some details in the final one if length were an issue. It would have made it more engrossing.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes for the most part
Will You Recommend It?
Kurup Review by Siddartha Toleti
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