This is a collective that offers three films in the increasing order of effectiveness, starting off with quite passable stuff at one end and ending with an engaging component at the other. As such, it does not spin off much in an interesting fresh direction, and for the most part makes do with some disposable stuff that tries to pass off as observations on gender equations.
‘Choked’ is in many ways Kashyap’s most underdone film as yet, and while it remains that some of his former works have been applauded for their purposive lack of refinement, this would probably be not. Rather, it’s one of those films that sets out to do a lot more than what finally appears on screen, and which strangulates itself in its endeavours to do so.
Geethu’s refusal to stick to stereotypes and her affecting reading of a love tale that tears up the social tapestry earn for ‘Moothon’ a distinctive place amidst the sparsely lit up landscape of queer cinema in the country. The howls and catcalls and the loud sniggers and the off-colour jokes in the cinema halls notwithstanding, it’s a cinematic composition that needs to be appreciated for its compassionate and unapologetically adult take on human sexuality.
‘Thottappan’ is a bittersweet film that appeals to you on several levels and yet leaves you wanting for more. The performances are outstanding and there are several moments that you would carry back home with you, but you would also wish that it had not stuck to the template that you have by now, grown so familiar with.
‘Oraayiram Kinakkalal’ lives on material that has pretty much exhausted itself long back, and strikes you as a wasted opportunity more than anything else. The actors deserve better, and so does the audience, since these are dreams and plans gone awry in unimaginably slapdash ways.
‘Matchbox’ hardly manages to strike up a flame that is blown out in no time, in a sturdy gust which draws in a heap of romance truisms that land all over the place. Looks like a damp box, this one, which is very unlikely to set the box office afire.
‘Kadamkatha’ has little to proffer apart from a few faux insights that make an appearance towards the very end. And it’s a very long wait indeed for that final statement, with a screenplay that runs along a done-to-death trail for almost all of its running time.