Critic’s Rating : 3.0 / 5
Kuttavum Shikshayum Movie Review : A humdrum police investigation
Review: Police investigation thrillers with the focus on investigation procedures seem to be having a moment now. Kuttavum Shikshayum is based on the investigation into a real life jewellery shop robbery that real life policeman Sibi Thomas undertook, and he has gone on to co-write, and do a cameo in, the film with Sreejith Divakaran. But when the Malayali viewer has seen the iconic ‘dummy to dummy’ investigation methods in Oru CBI Diary Kurippu nearly 35 years back, Kuttavum Shikshayum falls short, in spite of the exotic Rajasthani crime scene.
Asif Ali, plays CI Sajan Philip, who leads a five-member team of Kerala Police who set out to Dhanaganj on the trail of a gang who they believe is behind the robbery of about 1.5 kg of gold from a jewellery shop. Despite promises of help with their investigation, the team, which includes a motley crew of veterans and youngsters – played by Alencier, Sunny Wayne, Sharaf U deen and Senthil Krishna – have a blow hot-blow cold experience with their Rajasthani counterparts. The villagers of remote Dhanaganj are notorious for their criminal antecedents, so the local police seem to have a ‘live and let live’ equation with them, and are wary of going into the village to do a search.
The film slowly unfolds to demonstrate how policing demands patience, adjustments, adapting, diplomacy and balance, which is all fine, but this theft case doesn’t seem mysterious or interesting enough to make the investigative procedures compelling. And the climax feels slipshod and brings up troubling questions; for one, when the police do a dramatic rounding up of suspects from the village, how do they know they have the culprits among them?
A Rajeev Ravi movie comes with the weight of some expectations, thanks to earlier films like Annayum Rasoolum and Kammatti Paadam, but this doesn’t quite hit the mark. Is it because the crime, the affected party and the criminal doesn’t really make a connection with the viewer? Or is it because a strong team of actors – all of whom do a good, though not exceptional, job – don’t manage to build a chemistry between them that makes us root for them; when Sajan in a rare moment talks about his emotional state, Alencier’s character is barely interested. It is a slow film, that wants to focus on a feeling of dark intrigue and Dawn Vincent’s music complements that feeling, though at some moments it stands out too much.
Die-hard investigation thriller fans will enjoy Kuttavum Shikshayum. It is a clean film, so it might also be an interesting film for a family outing.