Shaji Kailash’s recent release, “Kaduva,” is an old-school action thriller with a predictable plot. Starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Vivek Oberoi, “Kaduva” talks about the ego clash between two alpha males of a town called Pala. The story has a political backdrop, and showcases power mongers waiting for an opportunity to take revenge on their nemesis. The last decade has changed our perception of Malayalam cinemas. They always prioritize their story more than anything else. The ipso facto was completely missing in this movie, a real disappointment for Malayalam movie fans.
What Happens In “Kaduva”? Is It A Mere Action Thriller Or Something More?
In a town called Pala in Kottayam lived a man named Kuriyachan (Prithviraj Sukumaran). He was one of the wealthiest men in the city who owned a very profitable plantation and a bar. He never took any offense from anyone; even the police and priests trusted him with his judgment. A new father (Father Robin) was assigned to the Church of Pala who had already committed a heinous crime (sexually abusing a teenage girl). It was his punishment posting as the higher authorities believed he would get what he deserved from Kuriyachan in Pala. Local people knew Kuriyachan by the name “Kaduva.” When Father Robin came to Pala, a local widow, Karinkandathil Theruthi, donated a piano to the church. Karinkandathil Theruthi is the mother of Joseph Chany (Vivek Oberoi), an IPS officer. Since Father Robin wanted to shift the piano to his private place, Kuriyachan interfered as he claimed it was not his property but the church. Father Robin told him to prove it in the church, so Kuriyachan brought the issue up with Theruthi. She promised him that the piano should stay at the church. Later, she went against the statement. Kuriyachan got so angry that he abused her in front of Joseph. He knew that it was Joseph who manipulated Theruthi to lie. The men started fighting in front of the church and it was witnessed by the whole town.
Whatever Kuriyachan was doing was portrayed as being heroic in nature until now, when his wife Elsa (Samyuktha Menon) accused him of behaving harshly with an older woman. Kuriyachan agreed to apologize to her, but when he went to her home, she threatened him with how Joseph had taken an oath to wreck him. So, with Joseph’s political backing at that time, he used everything he could to ruin Kuriyachan. First, he replaced all the police officers that were close to Kuriyachan and put Dominic Benjamin as the officer in charge. He knew that Kuriyachan once hit Dominic’s father in the middle of the market, so he would go to any extent to make him suffer for the sake of revenge. Then, the downfall of the hero gradually turns into a nightmare. His bar was closed, a crematory was set up in front of his house, and he was put behind bars for possessing a weapon without a license (the license was canceled without Kuriyachan’s knowledge). Kuriyachan’s house was searched again and again by the police. Some vicious criminals were sent to jail to kill him. Father Robin tried to sexually assault Elsa, but he failed as their older daughter interfered and got her left foot fractured in the process. Kuriyachan’s 14 days in jail made him and his family unbearable.
After getting out, Kuriyachan started visiting Father Kariyattil frequently. Nobody knew what was going on. In ten days, something big was going to happen. The government was about to fall, and in its place, a new government was on the rise. Later, Kuriyachan said that in jail, he interacted with some Maalam Sunny, who told him about the fraud cases against Chief Minister Ananthanadhan. Kuriyachan decided to fund their party to help them establish their government. He succeeded in this, and soon the whole game changed. Kuriyachan was now controlling everyone, and it was Joseph’s time to feel his rage. He first removed Joseph from his duty and then placed him under severe charges of unaccounted money and gold (seized by vigilance officials). Dominic, too, could not escape Kuriyachan’s wrath. However, Joseph tried to kill Kuriyachan at a local festival, but predictably he failed to do so. The court ordered him to be remanded for fourteen days. Before Joseph could enter the jail, Kuriyachan told him that he should end up in cell number 13, just like him.
What Did Kuriyachan Say To Joseph In Their Second Interaction That Made Him Angry?
While Kuriyachan visited Theruthi, he saw Joseph leaving with his family. Everyone in Pala knew Joseph’s reputation as a corrupted IPS officer. Joseph had a younger son who was physically challenged. We saw that after Kuriyachan saw his son, he asked Joseph to step out of the car, and after a moment’s discussion, Joseph angrily hopped in. Kuriyachan started the conversation by saying how well-educated Joseph was and how they were all proud of him. Then he said that when money and power come simultaneously, people tend to think that the entire world is at their feet. Then the dialogue went mute for a while. Maybe it included his physically challenged son. There was a chance that Kuriyachan wanted to let him know that whatever he was doing, the little boy faced all the consequences. Kuriyachan once said that he put his faith in the Old Testament rather than the New Testament. So, he believed in the book of Obadiah, where it is written that what you have done shall be done to you. Kuriyachan warned Joseph about all his misdeeds, which made him so angry.
Why Did Kuriyachan Never Tell Anyone About His Plan After Release From Jail?
Kuriyachan used to hang out with his childhood teacher and his lawyer friend. He shared almost everything with them and his wife, Elsa. Since his release from jail, he has been avoiding everyone. Initially, it was awkward for them as they never thought Kuriyachan could ever ignore them. As time progressed, they started seeing a different version of Kuriyachan. He even avoided any mishaps with the police. Local people thought that the jail time made Kuriyachan a coward. Kuriyachan chose (them) to show them how vulnerable he was after his release. He had calculated everything and knew that his time to take revenge was coming. He had to keep his mind calm so that nobody could doubt anything about his plan. He knew that he would strike them the moment they felt that he had lost the battle. What seemed like a sprint for Joseph, Kuriyachan made it his marathon after getting out of jail. He avoided everyone because he could not risk his plan to completely destroy everyone who had wronged him.
Will There Be A Sequel To ‘Kaduva’?
Before going into prison, Joseph told Kuriyachan that this was just a rest period. He would come for him as soon as he came out of jail. Kuriyachan accepted his threat by saying he would be resting outside. From this premise, we can say there will be a sequel to “Kudava.” Also, Revenue Minister (before the government changed) Thomas Poovampara threatened Kuriyachan for thrashing Father Robin as he was his younger brother’s son. Overall, the next plot should follow the same theme all over again. Some men will try to seek revenge against Kuriyachan, and he will conquer against all the odds.
“Kaduva” is the same old action thriller with people seeking revenge. The story’s soul is the ego clash between two highly established men in society. There is nothing new, not even in the action sequences. There were no twists that took you by surprise. S. Thaman’s music elevated the scenes, but apart from that, everything else was like, “Where have I seen this before?” We have some really high expectations from the Malayalam film industry but “Kaduva” fails to meet those expectations. Sukumaran only fancied his dhoti in terms of acting, while Vivek Oberoi managed to come up with a creepy smile. There wasn’t much acting from both ends. Shaji Kailas managed to make an average action thriller with an overqualified cast.
“Kaduva” is a 2022 action thriller streaming on Amazon Prime.