Saturday, 18 August 2018

Kolamaavu Kokila: Isn't dad's li'l princess but, her family's queen

One thing that I loved about Kolamaavu Kokila(CoCo) is how it breaks the cliches of cinema. This genuine attempt of filmmaker Nelson has finally served a thumping meal for the hunger of movie buffs who were expecting an unconventional flick. One cannot simply review CoCo in a single blog post. It demands a bigger forum to discuss and I am open for that. Here, I present whatever that struck my mind about the movie that made me laugh for hours even after leaving the cinema hall.

It starts with the characterisation of Kokila(Nayanthara). It is not very easy to judge this middle-class girl. Whether she is highly fearful, really innocent, too smart or gutsy? But Nelson wants the audience to understand that she is well independent and is ready to go to any extent to save her family. She adopts smarter ways than actual smugglers to hide cocaine. We can see that in a couple of scenes, Alphonse (Motta Rajendran) also compares her with his goons, who are not as smart as Kokila in getting the job done.

When writing CoCo, Nelson should have been very clear that Kokila does not need a male company or a pair - the first stereotype shatters here. The place where 'Kalyana Vayasu' song breaks, we see her mocking at Sekar(Yogi Babu) and this independent nature of the protagonist becomes more firm. Sekar reflects every other stalker in town who is overconfident - Oorula avalo ponnungirunthum luck thaan unaku adichirukkae.

However, it just not stops with Sekar, but CoCo takes a dig at every male character. Be it the crazy Lakshmana Kumar aka LK (Anbu), Kokila's father (RS Shivaji) or the smugglers played by Hareesh Peradi, Charles Vinoth and Arun Alexander, and the rugged and honest cop essayed by Saravanan, all men in CoCo are fragile by some way.

For an instance, the character of Saravanan, though is honest, is also an attention seeker and wants a bigger credit for the works he does. This ultimately backfires at him towards the end as Kokila hacks his plan saying, 'Thirudana pudikira neenga yevalo periya thirudana iruppinga'.

But, Nelson has not handled anything too cinematic. Every escape route Kokila frames is a very simple but smart tactic, that any middle-class person can do. She is very smart to easily plot a man to death within a distance of phone calls.

Not just because she is credited as 'Lady Superstar', but Nayanthara has mass moments filled every bit, that isn't involuntary. There is a scene where she says, 'Naan thirumbi nadanthu poren, aparam sudunga'. We can ardently say, one cannot simply make it a heroic moment unless it is Nayanthara. What's more lucrative is that she herself has dubbed - after a long time since Naanum Rowdy Thaan. Her combinations with Yogi Babu are both hilarious and pensive.

CoCo, in a figurative context, depicts through a lot of metaphors and subtexts. Some of them are camouflaged, while the rest are direct, especially the lines of Motta Rajendran. The first scene he comes out with some personified line. After that, every time he appears on screen, we start to expect a similar one. The sequence of serial rape-murder in the pre-climax is one of the best allegorical parts in CoCo. It slams at the perception of the society over a sexually victimised girl through an insensible conversation between LK and Sekar.

There are very minute flaws on and off in its screenplay. But, Nelson's this dark-humour on a limpid narration makes them negligible. There isn't a single instance of CoCo, we find it unfussy.

It is time to discuss this movie with film enthusiasts and feminists. So, I am giving my note an abrupt end here.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, August 18, 2018.

A part or complete version of this review by Santhosh Mathevan has appeared in This viewer's note is completely based on the perceptions of Santhosh Mathevan alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only.