There is no dearth of organic humor in Malayalam cinema. Lately, many Malayalam filmmakers have been exploring different tangents of humor. “Nna, Thaan Case Kodu” (Go ahead, Sue Me) comes in one such category. Directed by Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval, this is a Malayalam language political satire packed with social criticism humor that draws attention to the reality of our country’s judicial system. “Nna, Thaan Case Kodu” was released theatrically on August 11th, 2022, and is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar since September 8th, 2022.
‘Nna, Thaan Case Kodu’ Story: What Happens In The Film?
The film is a tale of a former thief, Rajivan (played by Kunjacko Boban), who meets a Tamilian woman, Devi (played by the excellent Gayathri Shankar), while working as a laborer with her father. They fall in love and start living together, taking care of her paralyzed father. He has given up on robbery since he made a promise to his girlfriend never to return to that life because many people’s lives are now at stake. But things go sour between Devi and Rajivan as she gets pregnant, and Rajivan is desperate for money. Devi figures Rajivan is back to his old ways. One evening he heads out for a temple festival late at night, and many people see him at the event. On his way back from the festival, he is caught jumping into a local MLA’s home and is bitten badly by the MLA’s dogs. A crowd gathers to beat him up, followed by police arriving to arrest him. He is charged with an attempt at robbery by the MLA and to his horror, his wife and many others do not believe that he had jumped into the compound to save himself. This triggers Rajivan to go ahead and file a case against the state PWD minister, who is responsible for a massive pothole on the road that led to a chain of events in a fraction of seconds which made him jump over the wall.
Rajivan goes ahead and starts gathering evidence, adamant to prove himself wrong to the judiciary and his wife. Not to mention he receives help from a cop turned lawyer who aids him in understanding the lingo of the judiciary. The process of gathering proof to back up his case forms the crux of “Nna, Thaan Case Kodu.”
“Nna, Thaan Case Kodu” Ending, Explained: How Does Rajivan Win The Case Against The PWD Minister?
As the case is filed against the cabinet minister, Rajivan comes across plenty of obstacles. E.g., a proper legal procedure to file a case against a politician of that stature. Using apt court-approved language for the proceedings to go smoothly without offending anyone. Finally, the MLA, under a lot of pressure, is summoned by the court to make an appearance and answer questions asked by the prosecution. A PWD contractor who was involved in the construction of the said road decides to speak in favor of Rajivan. He is charged as an accused, but as per the plan by Rajivan and the lawyer, the contractor offers to become the witness, which would reduce his sentence and will help build the case against the PWD minister.
By getting all the witnesses to stand and speak in favor of the case filed by Rajivan himself, he makes his case stronger, winning the heart of the magistrate one step at a time. The investigation work was supposed to be done by the police of the town, instead was carried out by Rajivan and his lawyer to prove Rajivan innocent. The case was filed in the year 2018 and stretched for two years carrying on throughout the COVID pandemic. The magistrate is replaced, but the final verdict comes in favor of Rajivan. The PWD minister is found guilty and asked by the court to serve a sentence as well as pay compensation to Rajivan for all the troubles caused to him throughout the case in the last two years. The PWD contractor, though, is not found guilty. The last scene of the film has a group of goons attempting to kill Rajivan by running him over, but their vehicle tumbles because of a giant pothole on the road. The irony of the last shot lies in the fact that Rajivan had wasted two years of his life due to a wretched pothole, but a similar pothole saves his life.
Written and directed by Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval, the film is a clever satire on the political situation of our country, where no one higher up in the authorities is responsible for anything that harms the general public. Corruption goes on while people turn a blind eye to it, and they end up targeting others who have no means to counter the powerful. The legal system is the only channel that gives them hope of receiving justice by nailing the culprit down based on facts and evidence.
The social messaging of the film hits the bullseye. The subject matter of a former thief who wants to change how he is looked at is put across effectively. There are plenty of scenes in which the defense puts across circumstantial evidence to turn the case over, highlighting the fact that the power would go to lengths to protect themselves. Just because Rajivan was a thief does not mean he deserves to be treated that way, without any evidence to prove that he was out there to rob the MLA’s home. The story of a flawed man misunderstood by society, his wife, and the judiciary and why a repeat offender like Rajivan also deserves to be heard and has the right to defend himself. The director does the clever thing of inserting petrol price hikes after every new court hearing is announced. It is a telltale of what the ground reality is of our country.
Rajivan as a person, is fully aware of his past wrongdoings, and in this case, he knows he has been wrongfully accused. He is willing to go miles to prove himself innocent. He picks up accurate courtroom jargon, IPC numbers, and other laws about crime so that he is not blindsided by the defense. In the end, the verdict of the case throws light on the fact that no one gives heed to the amount of money a common man like Rajivan spends to get his name out of a case. The meager sum allotted by the court as compensation is a true testament to how even the legal system is clueless about whether a common man has to live. This film is not just about giving a second chance to those who are trying to reform themselves but also about their right to live in a society without any uncalled judgment.
The film is a must-watch for many reasons. A well-crafted screenplay that ropes in the state police, who are most of the time clueless about the laws of the land. Luckily the film never takes the preachy route and sticks to satirical humor to convey a deeper message. A story that happens around us frequently is told effectively. The direction, cinematography, performances of all the actors, and music stand out for all the good reasons. The overall film has a Wes Anderson touch to it. Most of the actors cast in this film are new faces except for the lead actor. Their performances are exceptional, to say the least. I’m looking forward to seeing them in future projects. “Nna, Thaan Case Kodu” is an exceptional piece of cinema that comes out once in a blue moon.
“Nna, Thaan Case Kodu” is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar with subtitles.