Can you take an easy way out and live with its consequences? Director Manu Ashokan’s latest film Kaanekkaane, which is written by screenwriter duo Bobby and Sanjay, argues you can’t. You cannot sleep peacefully at night without accepting the hard truth and owning up to your actions. If you try to create an alternate reality by taking a shortcut and refusing to pay your dues, life has a way of catching up. As the saying goes, you can run but you can’t hide.
Kaanekkaane revolves around a bereaved family. Paul Mathai (a wonderful Suraj Venjaramoodu) has lost his daughter Sherin (Shruti Ramachandran), who was married to Allen (Tovino Thomas). She died in a road accident when the car driver who rammed into her bike refused to stop and help her. Paul is unable to come to terms with her death and wants justice. Deep down in his heart, Paul firmly believes that his daughter would have been alive if the driver had rushed her to the hospital. According to him, the accident is a misfortune, but refusing to help the victim is nothing short of murder.
But, how would he take it if he finds out that someone else had a chance to take Sherin to the hospital at the right time? And what if that person is a family member, who saw Sherin lying injured on the road and left her for dead?
Kaanekkaane explores how difficult it is to look someone you love in the eye and tell them you have wronged them. Every character in the film is crumbling under the weight of their own guilt. They go back and agonise over every decision they ever made in their lives, hoping they could have done something differently. But, the courage and heart to live with the choices they have made doesn’t come easy.
The film’s subtext is so thick that you can almost see it between every pause that characters take when their secrets begin to tumble out. You can read so much into the film, especially how excruciatingly hard it is for children to believe their parents are bad people.
All actors have delivered a strong performance, and make an impression regardless of screen-time. Aishwarya Lekshmi captures the vulnerability of her character Sneha, a heavily pregnant woman. Tovino Thomas does his best to channel the guilt of a man, who can’t live with his choices. And then we have Suraj Venjaramoodu, who outshines everyone. He wears his character’s old age and physical weakness in every frame. A small threat by the other person can leave him breathless but that doesn’t stop him from fighting for his dead daughter.
Kaanekkaane is streaming on SonyLiv.