Cast: Murali Gopy, Asif Ali,
Unni Rajan P Dev
Direction: Arun Kumar Aravind
Arun Kumar Aravind's Kaattu has two protagonists, a naive boyish Nuhakunnu and a macho Chellappan. Two extreme characters, they form an unlikely bond which traverse many emotional terrains, before meeting a dramatic end. Kaatu, scripted by Ananthapadmanabhan, is an intense tale of humanness, characterised by raw emotions. And, the lion's share of it is devoted to exploring them. Chellappan (Murali Gopy) is as crude as he can get. He drinks to his heart's content and shows no remorse using women for his satisfaction while Nuhakunnu is another extreme.
He is pure and innocent, his love is unalloyed by animal instincts. Then, there is Pauly (Unni Rajan P Dev) who is tactful. Their lives have little refinement. In his latest outing, Arun Kumar Aravind gives us their touching tale, but not without flaws. Nuhakunnu was leading an abused life until he meets Chellappan. They form a friendship, where Nuhakunnu gets to know him better; only as an untrustworthy but deeply affectionate man. But, certain incidents prompt Nuhakunnu to take the drastic step.
Rather than the plot, it is the depth of characters that give Kaattu its form. Chellappan is established to us as someone who unabashedly satiates his sensual pleasure but is too sensitive when it comes to his pet eagle. The character, that treads the grey area, has been fleshed out quite well and much of the narrative is centred around his equations with those around him. Same with Nuhakunnu who is cut out as a shy and innocent man, who can barely hold his head high. The beauty of Kaattu is in these characters.
For a tale that delves deep into the human psyche, Kaattu has a narrative style that is hugely dependant on visuals. The drama is set in a rustic terrain and Prasanth Raveendran’s cinematography adds to the richness. He captures their world so well that not once do we feel the whole setting as fabricated. While the first half is engaging enough, it is towards the second that Kaattu gets tedious. The narrative lags and flashbacks on Chellappan's love life hinder the pace of the film. The twist in the climax too is quite predictable and does no justice to the feel the first half gave.
As for the characters, Murali Gopy and Asif Ali do a near-perfect job as Chellappan and Nuhakunnu. Murali oozes machoism while Asif manages to pull off the slightly dim-witted Nuhakunnu. Unni
Rajan P Dev, who was earlier seen in forgettable avatars, makes a statement as Pauly who is amusing, boastful and treacherous at the same time. Manasa Radhakrishnan and Varalakshmi Sarathkumar too put up a convincing performance.Kaattu is a risky subject, for it needs steady and experienced hands. Arun
Kumar Aravind proves he is good at his craft, making this drama a treat. We only wish if it had been a little shorter and more realistic.