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Kurup, Overrated, Irresponsible , Irrelevant





Starring Dulquer Salmaan ,Indrajith Sukumaran, Sobhita Dhulipala, Shine Tom Chacko

Directed  by  Srinath Rajendran

Rating: ** ½

Two  questions haunted me  as I sat through  two hours and 35 minutes of this slog of a film: why a  bio-pic on a scumbag like  Sukumara Kurup whose life-story is certainly not of any  social validity? And  if  a bio-pic on this trashy man is  the need of the hour(you never know what would assuage the  nation’s collective conscience in  these troubled times) why is the storytelling so  unnecessarily  complicated and  convoluted with  multiple perceptions being thrust on Kurup’s life in  a most redundant and annoying ‘he-dead-he-dead-not’ kind of storytelling pattern more suited  to a bio-pic on Netaji Subhas Chandra than  a  con-man who seems to have no scruples killing,maiming, burning,  and  defrauding the innocent.

 Since Kurup(which  by the way means ugly in Hindi) is  played by  Malayalam  superstar Dulquer  Salmaan the criminal is  duly humanized. As played by Dulquer , Kurup is roguish, charming , even irresistible, at least to the woman Sharda played by  Sobhita Dhulipala who seems  to have made a career  out of playing women who  get involved with the most dubious kind of men.

When we  first meet Kurup  he has joined the airforce. He is rakish and  genial,a favourite. This strain of affable presentation continues  to haunt the film right to its  over-clever climax. The script writers seem to think in tandem with  its protagonist. This would have been  a good thing if the subject  of  the cinematic  exploration was  a saint , a thinker  or philosopher. But a sociopath? Who the hell cares?

 What is  the purpose behind this  bio-pic about a man civilization would  like to forget? Are  we so  short of truly inspirational characters? Or is this just a  whimsical  excursion  for  a star  who has  the clout to  do anything on screen, and isn’t using that clout  judiciously.

 Dulquer’s Kurup is  not only elusive, he is also  hazy and  very badly  sketched. As a  star-vehicle for  Dulquer, the  narrative  lets its audience down by  obliterating  him from the screen for a  longish  period  in the second-half. Come to  think of it, there is more of the  cop  Krishna Das in  the script than  Kurup.

Das is well played by Indrajith Sukumaran a very fine actor   who  brings a certain nuance into his  character  seen to be  tragically absent  from Dulquer’s portrayal of the sociopath. Dulquer’s Kurup is  full of  loopy grins  and  enigmatic smoke-rings  all amounting to more  suggestion than  substance, more  hints than  statements.

 It’s not all  Dulquer’s fault. The  periodicity specially in Mumbai(then, Bombay) portions in the early  1970s is replete with  Hindi spoken with a thick Malayali accent  . At one  point  we see a  poster of the Ashok Kumar starrer Oonche Log  in 1970 when in fact the  film was released  in 1965.

couldn’t help comparing Dulquer’s Kurup with Tahar Rahim’s Charles  Sobhraj  in  The Serpent. The two outlaws were  similar in their modus operandi. Whereas Rahim plays Sobhraj as calculating and   coldblooded , Dulquer’s  Kurup is  spontaneous  and cute, as  though the real Kurup  became  what he  was  only so that one day Dulquer Salmaan  would play him on screen.

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