Quaintness always beckons us to a world of beauty, which has the power to engage and mesmerize. This the ambiance that Kaattu, directed by Arun Kumar Aravind, begins with. Of course, the rustic color of the locales and the characters, which slowly evolve, promise the same.
However, as the narrative unfolds, we wait for hours on end to witness something significant to happen on screen. Scripted by Anandapadmanabhan, the story is built on characters from various short stories by ace filmmaker late Padmarajan.
There is a lot to say about the picturization, which sparkles with artistic finesse. Although the plot falters to strike a chord with the viewer, the frames would transport anyone to the mystic environs of an unspecified era. The characters are etched out in detail and their emotions are meticulously captured.
Chellappan (Murali Gopy) is an embossing personality whose impulsions are hard to resist. A vagabond of sorts, he has no rules to follow but shows signs of benevolence too. In sharp contrast is Noohukannu (Asif Ali), who is naive and submissive and is immature to manifest the worldly wisdom. With a child-like innocence, he establishes himself as a strange personality. Apart from these, the characters of Mooppan and Pauly (Unni Rajan P Dev) make a prolonged presence.
It is the acting prowess of the lead actors, Murali Gopy and Asif, that stands out. Asif Ali makes no mistake and treads the fine line, balancing his character but at times, he goes berserk and his gestures turn out grotesque. Meanwhile, Murali Gopy gets into the skin of his character with much ease. Unni Rajan P. Dev steals the show with a perfect timing.
Kaattu lacks depth and substance and the plot is weak and damp. Though the dialogues are realistic, the pace is slow and the flow is often truncated by intrusions, often unwarranted sequences.
The sound design of the film stands out and so does the cinematography, which captures every emotion with picture-postcard perfection.
The movie cannot be termed captivating and you would prefer to watch the world of Chellappam and Noohukannu from the hedge as it never pulls you right into the middle of the drama. Songs are outstanding but the background score is jarring. Overall, the brilliant performance of characters goes overboard for want of a good and absorbing story.
Rating: 2.5 / 5