<div class="paragraphs"><p>Prithviraj Sukukmaran in&nbsp;<em>Kuruthi.</em></p></div>

'Kuruthi' Review: Prithviraj Impresses In a Brave and Relevant Film

Review of Prithviraj Sukumaran-starrer Malayalam film Kuruthi now streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Movie Reviews
3 min read

'Kuruthi' Review: Prithviraj Impresses In a Brave and Relevant Film

"The only real filming in India is happening in this industry. Take a bow guys.”

“Addicted on Malayalam movies now-a-days”

“Prithvi and Fahadh are the game changers of Mollywood ❤️”

“I think lockdown is a blessing for the Malayalam movie industry.”

“I think recent times Malayalam movies are another level 🔥”

Just a few of the comments buzzing around Malayalam cinema as Kuruthi releases. Many of the Malayalam cinema offerings during the pandemic have been top notch.

Does Kuruthi directed by Manu Warrier live up to the hype and expectations? Is it keeping the flag of quality in adversity flying high? Well, yes and no. Yes, it is not bad. At all. No, it’s not brilliant in any way. The film works: it's involving, intriguing and constantly seems on the edge of startling developments. Yet, the overriding feeling you’re left with is a dazed confusion.

An ordinary house where a group of people face extraordinary situations, and where each of those people are guided or misguided by their faith is a great movie plot. Religious biases pitting human against human and mostly always winning, if inflicting pain, is success. It should have been an edgy thrilling ride, which it is in parts, but ends up losing the wit and acerbity especially towards the end.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Roshan Mathew in&nbsp;<em>Kuruthi.</em></p></div>

Roshan Mathew in Kuruthi.

(Photo Courtesy: Amazon Prime Video)

Kuruthi dives headlong into that untouchable bogey that is religion. For that itself I hope more people see it. It’s not saying anything original or path-breaking, but it’s saying what is necessary and needs to be heard. That religious hate is a bloody pointless fire, that never really dies once ignited.

The cinematography by Abinandhan Ramanujam is sumptuous when outside and adequately claustrophobic inside the house. The ensemble cast of Prithviraj Sukumaran, Roshan Mathew, Mammukoya, Murali Gopy, Shine Tom Chacko, Srinda, Nalsen K Gafoor and others is excellent. We get a good feel of each of these characters, essential in such a movie, because of the decisions each one spontaneously takes. The action sequences are clumsy but don’t jar.

It’s interesting how when the hardliners Kuruthi spout their ideology, you’ll recognise most of it from the comments section of any social media post. Or forwards by a particularly virulent uncle on WhatsApp. The metaphorical narrative of right-wing trolls versus liberals seems intentional and it works. However, some of the writing does seem tired and the characters can do little to elevate that. Even so, certain punches are always funny. Like who hasn’t heard the ridiculous harking back to Mughals for any ill in India today? Here it is Shah Jahan mistaken by the cantankerous patriarch for Shah Jahan the local barber. (Not giving any more spoilers.)

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Prithviraj Sukukmaran in&nbsp;<em>Kuruthi.</em></p></div>

Prithviraj Sukukmaran in Kuruthi.

(Photo Courtesy: Amazon Prime Video)


Kuruthi is a watchable, thrill of a ride. It will be enjoyed by many because it’s tight and focussed, but maybe not gritty enough for some others.

Is it over dramatic in spurts? Yes.

Does it seem forced here and there? Yes.

Is it facile sometimes? Yes.

But is it relevant, needed and brave? A resounding YES.

Today, when India is on the edge of communal tension and targeted harassment of minority communities is common, a film like Kuruthi, even if not perfect, holds an important mirror to society. This amplifies, without being preachy, the Us and Them that most hardliners perpetuate. The film by no means tilts the conflict between different religions one way or the other. It offers us views on how subtly modern fundamentalist cults enter our subconscious and make us hate without remorse.

For this brave attempt #Respect to director Manu Warrier, writer Anish Pallyal and the producers.

Kuruthi is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

(Sangita Nambiar is a writer, active theatre person and deep sea diving enthusiast you can connect with on Twitter @Sanginamby)

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