01 Oct

Investigative thrillers and procedure dramas have been always the favourites of the film buffs right from the early days and the number of such films have increased since the covid times. The Malayalam film, ‘Kannur Squad’ featuring Mammootty also belongs to the same genre and it has all the ingredients to satisfy the audience who love such films. It feels refreshing to see Mammootty picking up meaty and different roles these days and ASI George Martin of the ‘Kannur Squad’ is the latest addition to this. The film is scripted by Muhammed Shafi and Rony David Raj, based on the story-line of Muhammed Shafi and directed by Roby Varghese Raj. 

The film begins on a promising note with the team ‘Kannur Squad’ headed by George and members Jayakumar (Rony David), Muhammed Shafi (Shabareesh Varma) and Jose Skaria (Azees Nedumangad) investigating a suicide case. Soon, they are given the duty to investigate a dacoity and the murder of Abdul Wahab, a renowned politician in Kasaragod. The team is given ten days to complete the process and the rest of the film deals with their struggles and the efforts to overcome the hurdles. As the film has a few surprise elements, I don’t wish to reveal much. 

‘Kannur Squad’ falls into the category of procedural dramas rather than the ‘whodunnit’ type of films. The audience soon get to know the identity of the culprits but how the squad reaches them makes the film intriguing for the audience. They travel through different terrains, cultures, languages, etc. and the film ends with a riveting climax. Though the script is absolutely entertaining, it also has a few cliches like one policeman accepting bribe for the needs of his family, another one expecting his baby, misunderstanding among the teammates leading to brawls, hierarchical issues, etc. The Faizabad episode and climax are made to look a bit cinematic though all other parts stay close to reality but I’m sure, those two scenes are sure to provide you with the necessary adrenaline rush. 

Muhammed Rahil who has wielded the camera needs a special mention as he has presented the visuals almost as the perspective of the fifth member in the squad. He follows the team closely thus making the audience also part of the narrative. Praveen Prabhakar, the editor of “Kannur Squad’ is in top form with sharp and innovative cuts and one never feels that the film is 161 minutes long. The music director, Sushin Shyam too has done a commendable job elevating the film to another realm. Coming to performances of the actors, the surprise package is the brilliant show of Rony David and Azees Nedumangad delivering their best by portraying various emotions. Shabareesh Varma also scores as the policeman, Deepak Parambol, Kishore, Resh Lamba, Nalneesh Neel, etc. have done an amazing job. In fact, the fresh choice of actors itself is quite appreciable. The Tata Sumo vehicle which is used by the squad to travel also plays an important role in the plot. Finally, coming to the man of the moment, Mammootty who has done an outstanding job as George Martin. Though George remains a bachelor, he understands the values of human emotions and Mammootty has communicated this through a few superb expressions, watch him closely reacting to the Tamil lady’s story, how he responds to the girl who has been brutally attacked by the villains, his anger and frustration shown towards the end to Rony David and of course many more. He shoulders the film effortlessly moving through different emotions and can be cited as a classic example for underplay. 

The script reminds us of ‘Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru’, ‘Kuttavum Shikshayum’, ‘Unda’, ‘Traffic’, etc. but still the writers have made it an engrossing affair. The fights are choreographed by several masters and they have come out well. I felt that violence is shown in overdose and it has become a recent trend in Malayalam films. The mood of the film swings somewhere between being heroic and at the same time, grounded. Overall, the film ‘Kannur Squad’ is good, watch it for the script, a few inspiring dialogues, the making, depiction of the journey motif, stellar performances of the actors, superb direction by the debutant Roby Varghese Raj and above all for the one and only Mammootty of Malayalam cinema.

Ranjith Krishnan K R

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