Kaapa Movie Review
Shaji Kailas directed Kaapa, a 2022 Indian Malayalam-language action thriller based on G. R. Indugopan's novel Shankhumukhi. It is produced by Fefka Writers Union, Theatre of Dreams, and Saregama India Limited and stars Prithviraj Sukumaran, Asif Ali, Aparna Balamurali, and Anna Ben.
Venu was revealed as the director of the film in August 2021. However, he resigned as director in May 2022, citing artistic differences. Shaji Kailas later succeeded him. Manju Warrier was originally cast as the lead actress. However, she declined due to scheduling issues. Aparna Balamurali took her place. The principal photography took place in Thiruvananthapuram from July to September.
Dawn Vincent and Jakes Bejoy wrote the soundtrack, Jomon T. John directed, and Shameer Muhammed edited the film. On December 22, 2022, Kaapa was released in theatres to mixed reviews from critics.
Anand, an IT expert, just relocated from Bangalore to Thiruvananthapuram with his pregnant wife, Binu Thrivikraman. Anand discovers his wife's name on the "KAAPA" (Kerala Anti-Social Activities Prevention Act) list, which includes the names of all local criminals, during a routine police check in their neighbourhood. Anand makes the decision to clear Binu's name by bringing her to his hometown for a safe pregnancy.
Later, Anand goes to Arumanayagam, a police constable, to beg for his help in removing Binu's name, and rapidly discovers her role in heading a gang, as well as her hatred for the city's largest mobster and burgeoning politician Kotta Madhu, who was responsible for Binu's brother's death. Anand meets Kotta Madhu and gets his trust so that he can help Binu. Later, Anand learns that a writer named Latheef has hired assassins to kill Madhu and notifies Prameela, who then informs Madhu. Madhu thrashes them, and Latheef is afraid of being captured by Madhu.
Anand travels to Binu's hometown to prepare their child's naming ceremony. Latheef meets Anand and confesses that his competition with Madhu resulted in his cousin Nazeer being exiled to the UAE, where he tells Anand that he and Madhu must strike a truce in order to live together. Despite his reservations, Madhu agrees and comes to the location of the truce, but he is killed in a bomb blast by a youngster whose life was greatly harmed by Madhu when he blasted an assassin on his orders and was sentenced to juvenile prison.
Anand pays his final respects to Madhu and departs, feeling bad about being manipulated by Latheef. According to Madhu's autopsy report, Binu is wearing Madhu's ring, indicating that she was the mastermind behind Madhu's death and Latheef was a family friend. Binu was also the faceless leader of a group that plotted Madhu's murder while Anand was establishing her innocence. Prameela calls Binu, vowing to avenge Madhu's death, and Binu swears to protect her family without Anand's knowledge.
Prithviraj Sukumaran announced on August 17, 2021, that Mammootty and Mohanlal would begin a project the following day, on August 18, 2021. They published the motion poster on August 18, and the title was confirmed to be Kaapa. The effort was spearheaded by the Fefka Writers Union. The name Kaapa comes from the Kerala Anti-social Activities (Prevention) Act. Venu was the director. However, due to creative disputes with Fefka Writers Union, Venu pulled out of the film as director in May 2022. He was later replaced by Shaji Kailas. Sanu Varghese, Mahesh Narayanan, and Justin Varghese were among the film's early technical team members. They were replaced by Jomon T. John, Shameer Muhammed, and musicians Dawn Vincent and Jakes Bejoy. G. R. Indugopan wrote the screenplay based on his novel Shankhumukhi.
Prithviraj Sukumaran, Asif Ali, Manju Warrier, and Anna Ben were initially cast in the project. Manju Warrier, on the other hand, dropped out due to her commitments to Ajith Kumar's Thunivu (2023). Aparna Balamurali was called in as a replacement. Dileesh Pothan, Jagadish Kumar, and Nandhu were later revealed to be cast members.
Filming was supposed to begin on May 20, 2022, however it was pushed back due to Venu's decision not to participate in the project. Principal photography began on July 15, 2022, in VJT Hall, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram. On July 16, director Shaji Kailas requested permission from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for a day of filming in the area surrounding the Kerala Government Secretariat, where the state government had enforced a shooting ban. Sukumaran set a deadline of 60 days for the filming of Kaapa. On July 26, an action scene starring Sukumaran was filmed. Filming was completed on September 16, 2022.
Gopika I. S. of The Times of India gave it 3.5 stars, commenting, "More or less, Shaji Kailas has succeeded in delivering a satisfying gangster movie." "One sees glimmers of what the movie could have been in some of the well-conceived background stories," The Hindu's S. R. Praveen wrote, "but director Shaji Kailas ends up giving it a predictable treatment." According to Firstpost's Anna M. M. Vetticad, "Prithviraj Sukumaran and Shaji Kailas serve up a clichéd, bloody gangster drama in which women are not written as fully fleshed out characters, but as mere plot devices."
"Prithviraj's act as Madhu is hard to buy," Manoj Kumar R. of The Indian Express wrote, "as he comes across as an indecisive and unwise criminal, despite being the head of a crime syndicate." "Shaji Kailas's Prithviraj-starrer doesn't work as a mass-action film because it lacks originality," The News Minute's Sowmya Rajendran said. "Kaapa is one of the better films from Prithviraj this year, among the six releases he had," India Today's Latha Srinivasan said. Those who intend to watch Kaapa for Shaji Kailas and Prithviraj should brace themselves for a unique experience."