Superstar Mammootty grabs the belt of a female police officer and says that he is capable of breaking her menstruation cycle if he wants. Almost immediately, the testosterone-fuelled whistles and claps that go up in the theater show how several filmmakers are gladly catering to their audience’s perverted pleasures.
Except for the treatment, Kasaba does not offer anything new other than some Stone Age concepts on man being the savior of hapless creatures called women and a rogue cop who is glorified for his utter disregard for laws of the land. As for the treatment and craft, the film reminded me of Salman Khan’s blockbuster police movie ‘Dabangg’, owing to its rich and attractive frames and also the striking similarities of the lead character, which might be new to Malayalam cinema.
Kasaba, a name given to suburban police stations in India, tells the story of an unruly police officer named Zakriah (Mammootty) who investigates the murder of a couple who were dearest to the hero. Zakriah reaches the Kerala-Karnataka border village of Kalipuram, to investigate the murder of his superior’s son and his fiancé. At Kalipuram, the outrageous police officer has to deal with an ambitious politician Paremeshwar Nambiar (Sampath Raj) and his daring girlfriend Kamla (Varalakshmi Sharthkumar), who together run a brothel. What follows is interconnected incidents from college activism, power politics, brutalities inside a brothel and an omnipresent Maoist connection. Once Nambiar, the antagonist is placed in the movie, there seems to be no scope of unpredictability and excitement anymore in this revenge story.
The only difference between film’s director and scriptwriter Nithin and his father Renji Panicker is that unlike his father’s superhero police officers, Nithin’s cop hero doesn’t speak long breathless English dialogues. Other than that, the debutant director doesn’t seem to have moved an inch forward from the ‘Bharathchandran’ mold, a rebel police officer image created by Renji Panicker-Shaji Kailas duo using actor Suresh Gopi. From the opening sequence where a sex worker proclaims her admiration for Zakriah’s manliness to the climax where Zakriah’s interference to help Kamla get her revenge shows the extent of the director’s inability to think beyond his father’s framework of chauvinism.
Mammootty’s Zakriah is not different from his former police roles and his gestures are very similar with his role in the movie ‘Roudram’. His much-hyped carefree walking looked clumsy and animated, while his much envious ageless appearance is evidently disappearing as the cosmetics and makeup couldn’t cover the glaring wrinkles and protruding veins. The cast especially Sampath, Alancier Lopez, Jagadeesh, and Varalaxmi have done justice to their roles. The only song in the movie, an item number, was as absurd as any item number ever made.
Kasaba, overall, is watchable if you like seeing Mammootty in his cool green RayBan shades and if you still don’t get bored seeing a police officer on a revenge mission.