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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Kurup director defends Dulquer Salmaan film against allegations of glorifying a murderer: ‘Conmen are supposed to have swagger’

Kurup director Srinath Rajendran defended his film, starring Malayalam heartthrob Dulquer Salmaan, against allegations of glorifying a criminal. Dulquer plays the role of conman and murderer Sukumara Kurup.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 12, 2021 8:19:36 am
Dulquer SalmaanDulquer Salmaan as Sudhakara Kurup in Kurup. (Photo: KurupMovie/Twitter)

Malayalam heartthrob Dulquer Salmaan is going against type in the upcoming crime saga Kurup, which tells the stranger-than-fiction tale of a conman who murdered a man named Chacko in 1984, and used the corpse to subsequently faked his own death to claim insurance money. Salmaan plays Sukumara Kurup, who has evaded police capture for nearly four decades, while his story has become the stuff of legend.  

Director Srinath Rajendran told Scroll.in that ‘everyone’s attracted to someone who has managed to fool the police.’ He also revealed that he drew from the unlikeliest of reference points for the film—Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Rant, in which multiple characters narrate the oral biography of a killer. The novel ‘showed (him) the way to approach the story,’ the filmmaker said, adding, “We look at Kurup from the perspective of several people, which makes the film go into different genres.” 

He also addressed the controversy surrounding the possible glorification of a criminal. “Conmen are supposed to have swagger,” he argued, and noted that ‘retro costumes and colours will automatically look fashionable today’. 

The Chacko murder case has also inspired the Malayalam films NH 47 (1984) and Pinneyum (2016), as well as elements in the Hindi thriller Moh Maya Money (2016). “This was the Kerala Police’s most successful failure,” Rajendran said. “The case could have ended up as being a missing person’s case for Chacko and a murder case for Kurup. The police was smart enough to unearth the entire plot. But they couldn’t go all the way.”

Indrajith Sukumaran plays the cop on Kurup’s trail, while Sobhita Dhulipala plays Kurup’s wife. Salmaan has also produced the movie through his Wayfarer Films banner. This isn’t the first time that he has worked with Rajendran either; they collaborated on Second Show, which served as an industry debut for them both. 

“Back then, he was an evolving actor, and he is still evolving,” Rajendran said. “He hasn’t peaked as an actor yet. What has changed is that he has a daughter now, and the innocence of that experience reflects in him as a person.” 

Kurup, which Salmaan contemplated releasing on streaming due to the pandemic, was always intended for theatres, Rajendran said. The film will be released in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi on November 12. 

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