Kappela is a refreshingly relevant statement and belongs among the sweet, simple movies of Malayalam.
Screenplays, usually, evolve driven by plot or by characters and Kappela comes under the latter.
Right from the rainy opening sequences, where we are introduced to Jessi (Anna Ben) to the very last zoom-out shot from Jessi, Kappela is mostly driven by the lead lady and people around her.
Living in the high range area of Poovarmala, Jessi and her friend Lakshmi (Nilja) decide to quit studies after they fail in 12th standard. All they want is to lead a carefree and easy-going life. Jessi is so naive that her biggest dream in life is to go to a beach.
The story develops as she gets acquainted with Vishnu (Roshan Mathew) and things take an unexpected turn with the arrival of Roy (Sreenath Bhasi).
Male ego sweeps through Kappela with hauteur similar to recent releases like Driving Licence and Ayyappanum Koshiyum, in which ego ran with class and caste elements. Writer and director Muhammed Mustafa plays it safe and smart, giving out shades of greyness to his characters, and he succeeds quite well. The premise is so well established that there is believability in the manner in which the characters are developed. It depicts a woman at her most vulnerable and yet her most energetic phase. Supported by some natural performances, emotions like romance, betrayal, arrogance, mystery, and revenge keep the viewers hooked in Kappela.
Anna Ben makes Kappela a delightful journey. The characters of Roshan Mathew and Sreenath Bhasi too have come across as real that you feel like loving and hating them at the same time. Both of them are in their top form, especially in confrontation scenes.
Mustafa has used each of his characters well, may it be the main characters or the supporting ones. Mustafa, without subjecting the element of thriller in the movie to any stress, has made sure to sprinkle liberal doses of fun in between.
Jimshi Khalid has cranked the camera. The location and the frames also form the major highlight as it gives a realistic tone to the movie. However, there was this feeling at the end that it all ended a bit too quickly. Sushin Shyam, the music director, has done a great job with an excellent background score, which has created the perfect mood for the movie.
Kappela stands out with its freshness in storytelling and some stellar performances by the actors. It's worth taking this trip as it's both thoughtful and enjoyable.