Set in the realistic zone, the Malayalam film Kachi, released on NeeStream, has several interesting strands. The most obvious is that of a grandmother's (Manohari Amma) affection for her granddaughter (Sreshta).
The film, which has a runtime of around 70 minutes, is crisp, to begin with. Kachi opens with an animation prologue that revolves around a young couple. The couple, blessed with a daughter, drift apart due to their differences. However, the couple is not the only people affected by this separation; their seven-year-old daughter and her grandmother are also dragged into emotional turmoil.
But this is not the movie's main plot. The narration shifts its attention smoothly into how the child and her grandmother resist home invaders.
Writer Devan Subrahamaniyan successfully maintains the tension around the little girl from the point she leaves her mother to stay at her father's place. The writer also has successfully hidden clues for the plot right from the beginning, a smart technique to keep the viewers, who have enough distractions at home, glued to the cinema.
The storytelling method of debutant director Binshad Nazar will also keep us invested in the duo's resistance. However, unlike the masculinity in Varathan and Ishq, two of the recent Malayalam releases that deals with a similar subject, Kachi is patently about survival.
Binshad’s narrative deals with relevant themes that cause the root of all evil. The director also utilizes the house which acts as a major character in the movie.
Actor Binu Pappu subtly plays the role of a disoriented father. Manohari Amma and Sreshta have aced their roles. Though not brilliant, other actors have done justice to their parts.
Sreekanth Easwar's camera movements through the dim-lit house and Basodh T Baburaj cuts retain the tension.
Rhithwik S Chand background score is apt for the setting and situations.
The film sails on with two soothing tracks that give the narrative its formidable edge, thanks to music director Siraj Reza and lyrics by Rafeeq Ahammed and Ajeesh Dasan.
It would be irreverent to talk about the ending, but there appeared a hesitation in how it was played out. On the surface, it was a safe play with an abrupt closing but it also seemed a tad forced to justify the title - Kachi.
Kachi is engaging, intriguing and has its share of moments where it reclaims the viewer’s attention by transfiguring from an emotional drama into a survival thriller.
(The movie is available on Neestream)