In one scene, superstar Mammootty grabs the belt of a female police officer and says that he is capable of breaking her menstruation cycle if he wants to. Almost immediately, the theatre resounds with testosterone-fuelled whistles and claps. It just shows how a majority of men think in this country and how several filmmakers are gladly catering to their audience’s perverted mindset.
Except for the treatment, Kasaba does not offer anything new. The film offers the Stone Age concept of man being the saviour of hapless creatures called women and a rogue cop who is glorified for not following the law of the land. As for the treatment and craft, the film reminds one of Salman Khan’s blockbuster Dabangg, owing to its rich and attractive frames and striking similarities between the two lead characters.
Kasaba, a name given to suburban police stations in India, tells the story of a police officer Zakriah (Mammootty), who is investigating the murder of a couple very close to his senior officer. Zakriah reaches Kalipuram, a village situated on Kerala and Karnataka’s border, to investigate the murder of his superior’s son and his fiancé.
At Kalipuram, the police officer has to deal with a corrupt politician Paremeshwar Nambiar (Sampath Raj) and his girlfriend Kamla (Varalakshmi Sharthkumar), who run a brothel. The film then becomes a mish-mash of various threads — college activism, power politics, brutalities inside a brothel and an omnipresent Maoist connection. Once the antagonist Nambiar arrives on the screen, no scope is left for unpredictability and excitement in this revenge story.
The only difference between film’s director-scriptwriter Nithin and his father Renji Panicker’s super-hero police officers is that Nithin’s cops don’t speak long, breathless English dialogues. Other than that, the debutante director stays faithful to the ‘Bharathchandran’ mould of a rebel police officer created by his father, along with Shaji Kailas.
From the opening sequence where a sex worker admires Zakriah’s manliness to how the cop helps Kamla wreck vengeance, the director fails to break free from the framework of chauvinism his father created in his cinema.
Mammootty’s Zakriah is exactly like the role of cops he has played in the past. The actor’s much-admired carefree walk looks clumsy and the signs of ageing cannot be hid by cosmetics any more. Rest of the cast — especially Sampath, Alancier Lopez, Jagadeesh and Varalaxmi — has done justice to their roles. The only song in the movie, an item number, was absurd to say the least.
Kasaba is meant for you only if you are a Mammootty fan or if you want to watch yet another cop-on-a-revenge drama.
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