A supposed-to-be-thriller, the mystery element seems forced in this movie that has Aju Varghese playing a broker who spends time with a mysterious woman.

Flix Review Saturday, November 30, 2019 - 11:24
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If it were not for the changing background music or the quick close-ups, you might forget that Kamala is meant to be a thriller. The mystery seems forced and the suspense doesn't make you wait with bated breath as it unfolds. Ranjith Sankar’s new film is a watchable one, nothing more, nothing less.

Aju Varghese is not the funny sidekick or the annoying antagonist you are used to seeing, but the hero of the film. He plays the well-dressed, gadget-carrying broker called Zafar, who, in his very first shot, drives away a mini cooper and gives the impression of someone who likes to make some quick money and show it off too. To his clients (Sajin Cherukayil and Biju Sopanam) who own a resort, he boasts about the women in his life, putting out a gown in a hanger for a mysterious visitor he expects.

The clients, who are also his friends, trust Zafar to broker a deal for them - getting hold of a piece of land where a bunch of tribal people live. A good part of the film is spent on the claims of the land and the rights of the tribals. Zafar talks to them in cunning ways, showing a side of his character that is used to making money one way or another. He then rushes off to meet his visitor, a woman who had once tried to buy a car from him but didn’t. You know this is your mystery woman as one of the friends asks Zafar her name, and you see her standing somewhere, her back to you, as the music changes and the title goes up the screen. Kamala.

When she (Ruhani Sharma) walks into the screen though, there is little to keep you tense. She seems very much the typical traveller Zafar had described her as – a big backpack on her, casual clothes, loose hair, funky jewellery, her dialogues a mix of English and Malayalam. Their day seems regular as they eat and drive together, walking through the woods. When Zafar is worried about his phone losing range, she distracts him. The maximum chills you are to get from these scenes is when she walks too fast and Zafar, lagging behind, can't find her immediately. Anand Madhusoodhanan has to work the music to remind you that it's all very mysterious.

The resort too is in an isolated location but looks very pretty. Shehnad Jalal's camera zooms in and out of the place and blurs over the late night jaunts of our mystery woman.

It gets a little annoying when Zafar's friends are hellbent on assuming a woman can visit a friend only for a single intention and Zafar too seems to entertain the idea. The making is affected as all the dots are hurriedly connected towards the ending, with an unconvincing flashback (including an overly talkative Anoop Menon) and some poor acting.

Ruhani Sharma does her part well as the mysterious woman, with her often subtle and varied expressions. Shruti Ramachandran does a fairly decent job, dubbing for Ruhani. Aju Varghese, even as he dominates the screen time, does not have a convincing enough character written for him. His lines are often tame, uncharacteristic or pretentious. Sajin Cherukayil is lovely, giving the occasional funny moment in an otherwise serious script.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.