Movie Review

A Character Driven Cinema-Malayalam Movie Kappela

The unexpectedness, the mistakes, that is what makes a life. More than a reminder, Kappela is a reality check on how moments and people can be deceiving. Our imaginations and expectations of ourselves leave a delusion that is hard to differentiate from the harsh realities of life. 

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Anna Ben as Jessi

And we feel this all through the central female lead Jessi (played by Anna Ben). We see her go through a myriad of emotions in a very short span of time. She is happy to go girl with nothing much planned for her life apart from upgrading to a smartphone from a Nokia handset. Anna Ben brings out Jessi with an innocent charm and cuteness. With each performance, Anna Ben just tightens her seat belt as a promising actress.

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Roshan Mathew as Vishnu

To her life comes her unexpected moment, a misdialled number, uniting her with Vishnu an auto driver from Kozhikode. A romance over a misdialled number may seem cheesy and melodramatic but the screenplay of Kappela ensures to confine this cliché and making the audience accept the fairy tale romance. We are left wondering why is this stalkerish behavior portrayed as something romantic and beautiful. But all these questions are answered towards the end.

Roshan Mathew does a surprisingly brilliant job as Vishnu. He is so convincing as a young auto driver with a good heart. It is interesting to see Roshan Mathew do diverse roles recently, may it be Choked or Moothon, any character is safe in his hands. To play a character that is initially pleasant but has a shady element is indeed a task which Roshan Mathew pulls off quite effortlessly.

sreenath bhasi
Sreenath Bhasi as Roy
Sreenath Bhasi has now become the go-to person for the unexpected and surprising roles in Malayalam movies. I’m still not over his limited yet highly impactful performance in Trance. His credibility as an actor is increasing exponentially.
Director Muhammad Musthafa does not fail to make a limited appearance in the second half of the film.
Kappela is more of a character-driven film rather than script-driven. It is these three characters played by these fabulous young actors that make Kappela a content-rich cinema.
It is overwhelming to see how the three lead characters draw the chemistry that is worth appreciation.
However, Roy is initially depicted as a rough short-tempered guy when he tries to grab Annie’s jewelry. Maybe it was a scene just to show that Roy is an angry young man but we definitely aren’t convinced that he is still a nice guy (seriously after all this?) But apart from this, there aren’t any loopholes in the film.
Kappela also offers a visual treat of the exquisite Wayanad hills and as Jessie bids adieu to her friend, we feel the heavy rains as much as we feel a sense of tension. Is it a romance drama? Is it a thriller? We are given no idea until the end when the film tightens all its loose grips. The uncertainty dictated by curiosity finds satisfaction as the film closes with Jessie walking away, now much mature.
It is a bit unfortunate that Kappela could not savor a theatre success due to the pandemic but thanks to Netflix, a good film is able to reach a bigger audience and is garnering superlatives.
Director – Muhammad Musthafa
Watch at – Netflix

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