After Uyare, director Manu Ashokan and writers Bobby-Sanjay are back with an emotional thriller Kaanekkaane which explores myriad flaws in relationships.
Kaanekkaane is similar to the 2019 film Uyare, which portrayed complex and real people with character flaws and even healing abilities, but adds more layers to the complexities with regard to human bonds.
Much like the Malayalam movie Aarkkariyam that released earlier this year, which manages to capture the nuances of family dynamics and was based on a confession, Kaanekkaane is a bit like you walked into a whodunit but ultimately is built on a confession and empathy.
The bigger force that drives the film is hinted at in the very first sequence itself – where we get to see a cemetery unattended for a while. The mood is already quite bleak. And as the movie goes ahead with the narrative, we know that each of them carries a baggage.
Deputy Tahsildar Paul played by Suraj Venjramoodu visits Allen, played by Tovino Thomas, and the latter's wife Sneha (Aishwarya Lekshmi) and son (Master Alok).
While from far, they seem to be a happy family but when zoomed in one gets to know that in spite of expecting an addition to their family, the couple's marriage is on the rocks. However, with Paul's visit, he unravels more about Allen than what meets the eye, justifying the title of the movie '..as you watch..'
Lead casts steal the show
The highlight here is definitely the terrific performance by the lead casts. Even as Bobby-Sanjay's script delves into each characters' version, the varying shades with subtle chemistry and redefined acts between Suraj, Tovino, Aishwarya and Master Alok give more depth to it.
In one of the scenes where Prem Prakash visits Suraj Venjaramoodu, we are reminded of the Uyare scene between the former actor and Siddique. In Uyare, it was the sharply written lines that connect through, whereas in Kaanekkaane it's the annotation of emotions and feelings that rides high.
Overall mood portrayed aptly
Manu Ashokan sets up the story very well. From death scene to the birth scene – he conjures up an unnerving atmosphere with impulsive human emotions. The love, the loneliness, the grief, the betrayal, the trust, the guilt, the anger, the forgiveness play out well rhythmically. The constant shift from past to present is a deliberate attempt to establish the relation between each characters then and now. It's not like how a tragedy strikes the family one fine night and it sets into motion a chain of events but rather it sets off as a slow-burner taking its own time.
The befitting lingering score
Yet another highlight is the background score with high-pitched instruments that lingers even after you finish watching the movie.
The scenes had their audio aptly tailored to the situations, especially in creating a mystery setting with a decent ending.
The screenplay is realistic and enjoyable but drags a bit in the latter second half which runs majorly on a melodramatic tone.
The implication here is that human psychology is complex and flawed.
The film, in fact, doubles up as an allegory as it indicts our conscience for dabbling in different relationships and urges us to let go and give a second chance to life.
(The film is available on SonyLIV.)