Kanu Papa Review, What’s Behind: Malayalam Super Star Mohan Lal’s ‘Oppam’ was a huge hit in Kerala and is now dubbed in Telugu as ‘Kanu Papa.’ Directed by Priyadarshan, the crime thriller has hit the screens today. Let us see, how Mohan Lal fares with his blind man heroism in Telugu states after a massive ‘Manyam Puli?’
Kanu Papa Story: Jayaram aka Ramu (Mohan Lal) is born blind from Kadapa and works as a lift operator in big apartment complex. He has close association with retired Judge Krishna Murthy (Nedumudi Venu) residing in same complex and his daughter Baby Nandini (Baby Menakshi) studying at a school in Ooty.
In the past, Judge Krishna Murthy punishes a criminal namd Vasu for a crime which he hasn’t committed and resultantly Vasu loses his entire family thus becoming a psycho (Samuthirakhani) on killing spree. Vasu murders Krishna Murthy and his next aim is Baby Nandini. There’s no way for Vasu to reach Nandini until he removes Jayaram. Meanwhile, Police forces torture Jayaram brutally as he is the key evidence in Krishna Murthy murder. How Jayaram saves the baby is rest.
Kanu Papa Artists and Technicians: Mammoth success of ‘Kanu Papa’ in Kerala owes largely to Super Star image for Mohan Lal and a strong nativity factor. When it comes to Telugu, definitely there are inherent limitations with a rather poor dubbing, bouncing characterizations and lethargic screenplay. Govind Vijayan’s story about a blind man winning against all physical odds weaved with a delicate child sentiment is interesting to the core. However, the protagonist’s super heroism and antagonist’s observant villainy did not blend well. Crossing all these drawbacks, Priyadarshan and Mohan Lal’s combo engaged us with a tight second half. There was a space for making screenplay sharper and crisper because it takes entire first half to drive us into key collision of Mohan Lal Vs Samuthirakhani. Dialogues were just ok. Ekambaram’s camera work created a thrilling mood. 4 Musics composed a gripping background score enhancing the tense mood. Ayyappa Nair’s editing can be more effective in first half. Production standards from Mohan Lal and Dilip Kumar Bolugoti are good.
About performances, Mohan Lal is a complete actor. He just lives into the character making us believe and travel with a visually impaired on hunt for serial killer. His meticulous skill set can be easily distinguished in two scenes viz. interval block when Mohan Lal senses Samuthirakhani at dead body and the second is murderer is inside the lift. Climax is one more brilliant work. Baby Meenakshi looked pretty. Vimala Ramana as maid, Nedumudi Venu and Samuthirakhani; everyone did complete justice. Anusree as Police Officer Ganga and Suchitra Pillai as Ooty School principal were fine.
Kanu Papa Advantages:
Kanu Papa Disadvantages:
Kanu Papa Rating Analysis: After ‘Manamantha, Janatha Garage’ and ‘Manyam Puli,’ audiences expect something fresh and innovative from Mohan Lal for every movie and ‘Kanu Papa’ stands up to the reputation. The decent premise built on a retired judge feeling guilty for punishing an innocent who now turned into serial killer sounds intriguing. From here on, Mohan Lal takes the show under his control rescuing a small girl. More than all, his finesse in behaving like a blind hero escaping from police and villain keeps us on edge of the seat. Priyadarshan is a master storyteller and does it again.
Problem is, ‘Kanu Papa’ takes off on a sluggish note with many characters flushed on screen and majority of these artists are anonymous for Telugu audience. It took a lengthy 45 to 60 minutes to hook the audience to point. Comedy at apartment complex isn’t good. Nedumudi Venu, Mohan Lal bond is dealt well. Song shot on Baby Meenakshi and Mohan Lal is melodious. Once Samuthirakhani joins the narrative, story picks up with a superb interval block.
Second half, the cat and mouse game between Mohan Lal and Samuthirakhani is intelligently written and cleverly executed. Graph never fell down below a satisfactory mark in second half. Police station scenes torturing Mohan Lal with third degree treatment are touching. Then the brave escape to Ooty and direct combat with Samuthirakhani moves us to climax picturized very well with scintillating background score.
More or less ‘Kanu Papa’ had the open-thriller shades of ‘Drishyam’ but stands out because of Mohan Lal’s artistic excellence. Although drama and emotions played minor part, ‘Kanu Papa’ is a clap worthy experiment. Except those lagging moments in first half, ‘Kanu Papa’ is a safe watch for its stirring second half and a definite above average film (commercial Box Office calculations aside) for which CJ is going with 2.75 stars.
Kanu Papa CineDhol Verdict: Decent Thriller
Kanu Papa CineDhol Rating: 2.75/5.0
Reviewed by Srivaas