As someone who gets excited every time a Suresh Gopi movie releases and one who watched even Kitchamani MBA and Sound of Boot FDFS, it’s possible it were my high expectations that did it for me with Kaaval. Kaaval would have been an ok movie had it released in the twentieth century, when audiences didn’t know better and the formulaic movies Ranji Panicker wrote scintillated boys like me, easily landing Suresh Gopi in the number three spot of mollywood stardom’s pecking order. This is a whole different century and whatever Nithin Ranji Panicker has up his sleeve, which is not much, mostly fails at this time when Malayalam cinema is trending world class. Suresh Gopi expecting a hit from the Ranji Panicker stable is like Mohanlal expecting a hit in twenty first century with Priyan – possible but highly improbable.

Overall Kaaval is a badly made movie and one that your future generations will not regret you didn’t watch. That said the movie has a script similar to and as flimsy as many malayalam tv serials that are highly watched by a particular segment of our society. The villains in Kaaval lack any depth or nuance and are one hundred percent evil like cartoon villains who show up in malayalam tv serials that are highly watched by a particular segment of our society. The main characters show the intelligence and judgment of a squirrel (one main character refuses to leave the area where she and her family have daily death threats, rape attempts and other abuses because she wants to live in the house her father built – note she was about to get married and leave the house readily – but now has to stay and insult our general intelligence) like most characters in Malayalam tv serials that are – you see where I am going with this.

This movie should have been a malayalam tv serial. The TV serial audience will think of this movie as an OK, watchable movie. No one else will.

The story is classic family in dire straits surrounded by evil villains and lo here comes a powerful but flawed savior. In the hands of a proper script writer, such a plot could become something like an “Aadharam”, a Malayalam classic by Lohitadas. But expecting that from a Ranji Panicker house that wrote King vs Commisioner and Praja and Dubai, and Nitin Ranji Panicker who made the highly misogynistic Kasaba in his first rodeo is a tall order.

OTT releases are making some film makers more bold and experimental while making some film makers lazy. Kaaval is an example of the latter. Renji Panicker as an actor has one trick up his sleeve and that’s the same trick in every movie. Suresh Gopi is just tired but also is one of the saving graces of the movie. Both these older gentlemen do plenty of stunts in the movie with zero mobility, reminding one of those dishum dishum stunts from the regrettable later days of Prem Nazir (and this trend will continue – older superstars except Mohanlal don’t move much in movies any more – watch Suresh Gopi stand without moving in Pappan trailer – it’s like he can’t move much so villains should go near him so he can beat them up with little movement). It’s painful to see your Bharat Chandran and Madhavan whimper. You either die a hero or you live long enough to act in movies because you badly need some money.

Rating: 1.5 stars of 5 stars

Watchability: Family (non) entertainer – Ok watch