Kurup, the crime thriller that features Dulquer Salmaan in the lead role, has finally hit the theatres today. The Srinath Rajendran directorial has got a record release in the history of Malayalam cinema, with around 2500 shows on its day 1. Kurup, which features Dulquer Salmaan as India's longest-wanted fugitive Sukumara Kurup, is bankrolled by the actor's home banner Wayfarer Films and M-Star Entertainments.
*No Spoilers Ahead*
The slow-paced first half
Krishna Das (Indrajith Sukumaran), a senior police officer retires from the force after a praiseworthy service that lasted for over 3 decades. His junior officer (Saiju Kurup) goes through Krishna Das's diary, which narrates the story of India's longest wanted fugitive Gopi Krishnan aka Sudhakara Kurup (Dulquer Salmaan). What happened in Kurup's life forms the crux of the film.
Script & Direction
Director Srinath Rajendran and writers trio Jithin K Jose, Daniell Sayooj Nair, and KS Aravind have crafted an engrossing slow-burn thriller that emerges as an enjoyable theatre experience. Kurup narrates the real-life tale of India's longest-wanted fugitive with an ample dose of cinematic liberties. The narrative unfolds with a slow-paced first half that takes its own sweet time to establish the premise and characters. The non-linear way of storytelling seemed messy in the first half, but all the loose ends were connected in the highly engaging second half.
The biggest positive factor of Kurup is that it does not celebrate or glorify the absconded criminal. The Srinath Rajendran directorial also doesn't restrict itself as a mere spectator of Kerala's most-discussed crime story. Instead, what the movie puts forward is a mix of the story which is known to all and the fictional world where Kurup's journey as an individual was set in.
Kurup is going to be a bumpy ride for the viewers who watch it expecting a thorough entertainer with some 'mass' moments. But, for those who are willing to surrender themselves completely to the film without prejudice, Kurup is going to be a fascinating movie experience that unfolds rather slowly.
Dulquer Salmaan sheds his boy-next-door image and delivers one of the most powerful performances of his career as Kurup. The actor deserves special applause for choosing a negative role without inhibitions and letting his co-stars take the center stage when it is needed. What a brave career choice..!!
Indrajith Sukumaran amazes with the exceptional underplay, and once again proves his expertise in playing cop roles in the role of DYSP Krishna Das. But it is Shine Tom Chacko as Bhasi who steals the show with his performance, which is one of the best we have seen in Malayalam cinema in recent times.
Shobita Dhulipala impresses with her subtle portrayal of Kurup's wife Sharada. The rest of the star cast, including Sunny Wayne, Bharath, late P Balachandran, Vijayaraghavan, Saiju Kurup, Hareesh Kanaran, Sudeesh, MR Gopakumar, Surabhi Lakshmi, Maya Menon, Vijayakumar, Shivajith Padmanabhan, and others have played their parts well. The special cameos definitely worked well too.
Nimish Ravi's excellent visualisation and Banglan's fantastic production design have played a major role in building the universe of Kurup with absolute conviction. Vivek Harshan scores with his editing skills, which has enhanced the non-linear narrative.
But it is Sushin Shyam, the music composer who emerges as an absolute star. The young musician once again astonishes with the haunting background score, which has played a major role in bringing life to the universe of Kurup. The songs are good, except 'Dingiri Dingale' which looked rather unnecessary.
Kurup is an engrossing slow-burn thriller that stays true to its genre. Exceptional casting, brilliant making, and technical aspects make this Dulquer Salmaan starrer a fantastic theatre experience.