Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham

Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham ★★½

An absurd comedy with more misses than hits, Nivin Pauly's Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham fails to carry its initial momentum all the way through. The obvious hat-tips to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel aside, writer-director Ratheesh Poduval's film tries to be too many things but not quite getting anything right. It also frequently divulges into total randomness in the name of absurdity fetching neutral results. Some scenes, especially in the latter half, lack any sense or purpose. It becomes evident that they exist purely to amp up the noise and chaos. Nivin has donned the "lazy, good-for-nothing" character way too many times for this one to be any surprising. It's Grace Antony who walks away with the applause here. She's ably supported by Vinay Forrt (who plays the front office manager) and Jaffer Idukki (who plays a drunkard), who come up with competent feats. Whether a full-blown absurd comedy like the ones Priyadarshan made in the '80s work for Malayali audiences (who connect better with realistic plots and performances) in 2021, is a pertinent question to ask. A not-so-distant counterpart to this film could be Vettam, another comedy of errors, but is miles ahead in its situational comedy quotient. Vettam makes us laugh our guts out even now, but I don't think Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham will have that kind of recall value.

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