Movie Title: “Kayamlulam Kochunni”
Director: Rosshan Andrews
Produced: Gokulam Gopalan
Written by: Bobby & Sanjay
Cast: Nivin Pauly, Mohanlal, Priya Anand, Babu Antony, Sunny Wayne
The story unfolds as we see Kochunni being taken to the gallows. Director Rosshan Andrews takes us through the past. He shows us the little boy who runs away from home on persuasion from his mother. It’s about the transformation of a small boy, to a young man with a heart of gold to a tough robber. Kayamkulam Kochunni is narrated as a fable, it has a very special place in every Malayalees heart. From time immemorial it has been told and retold. This highway robber was the Indian Robinhood. His character was immortalized in comic books like the Amar Chitra Katha.
Kayamkulam Kochunni is regarded as the messiah of the poor. The script by Bobby and Sanjay is well written and it has given a strong impact on the audience. The first half of the 19th century was beautifully recreated and picturized. It showcases the mindsets of the high-caste people and how the low caste people were treated. The minute details of the costumes, the lives of the poor and the rich were given a lot of care. An average Malayali knows the core story of Kayamkulam Kochunni. So it was left to Rosshan to unravel every sequence at an even space. He has done it well and we are taken into the 19th century.
Nivin Pauly as Kayamkulam Kochunni does a remarkable job. When he transforms from his innocence to the furious highway robber. He takes us by surprise in the fight scenes with his agile movements. Mohanlal appears in the film as the other legendary highway robber Ithikkara Pakki. Even though it is an extended cameo role. He depicts his character with an animalistic touch. And gives it an importance, it deserves. He plays the guide to Kochunni in training the martial arts. Priya Anand is fair enough as the unpredictable Janaki and Sunny Wayne too does his part fair enough. Shine Tom Chacko stands out among the supporting actors.
A scene that struck me from the film was the marriage of Kochunni in the giant pyramidical tower. The tower created by the poor men standing on top of the shoulders of the other with throbbing chants was remarkable. The movie does give you a lasting memory of a poor Muslim man who had to go through hellish beginnings to become the savior of the downtrodden. The movie is worth watching.