While the recently released Malayalam film ‘Kurup’, starring Dulquer Salmaan, has been doing extremely well on the box office, there has been a strong reaction from a section of people, who have slammed the makers, for making the film, which is based on the life of Sukumar Kurup – one of the most wanted criminals in Kerala since 1984-- the third such film in Malayalam cinema, after ‘NH 47’ in 1984 and ‘Pinneyam’, which released in 2016.
The recently released film directed by, Srinath Rajendran, had been accused of glorifying and furthermore, accused Malayalam cinema of being obsessed with the criminal, who has been hiding away from the authorities for almost 40 years now.
In fact Jithin, son of Chacko, who was murdered by Kurup in 1984, too had initially slammed the film, when it was announced, and slapped the makers with a legal notice, urging them to show Chacko’s family the film, before they released it.
"My father is for me like what Mammootty is for Dulquer Salmaan. Just like every Malayali, I have also been frightened by the name of Kurup from childhood days, a heinous murder convict who had escaped the clutches of law. But in the film, the hero says this line giving an anti-hero image to Sukumara Kurup," he had said in August last year.
However, a couple of months later, in an interview, Jithin clarified that he did not think that the movie “glorified” the “murderer” of his “father”.
“Srinath called us when we sent the legal notice. He assured us that there will be no justification of Sukumara Kurup like we feared and offered to show us the film before the release. Once I watched it, I understood that there was more to the story than I had heard all this while and it was important that it reached the people. There was no glorification of the man who killed my father,” he had said.
However, the allegations around obsession and glorifications, picked up momentum, yet again following the film’s success on box office. Film’s writer Jithin K Jose tells us that, while he understands the nature of such allegations, he feels that people will change their opinions, just like Chacko’s son did, after watching the complete movie.
“I think it is inhuman to be a conman. That’s my personal opinion. Having said that, there is another side to being a con artiste, in the sense, that you will never come across with the real identity of that person. He will carry some kind of manners, which might end up being flashy or attractive, but that’s not his real self!” he explains.
“So maybe while you watching those things and hearing those dialogues, maybe we feel like we're watching a hero or a glorified character or something like that. But, the real fact is, uh, it's not the real version of him, it is the pretentious version he creates for himself. So, if you watch some portions or the trailer or teaser or something, then there's a chance, you might feel like that. To see the entire character, you have to watch the film in its entirety,” he adds.
“Everyone’s attracted to someone who has managed to fool the police. Conmen are supposed to have swagger,” said ‘Kurup’s director Srinath Rajendran, in a recent interview. “This was the Kerala Police’s most successful failure. The police was smart enough to unearth the entire plot. But they couldn’t go all the way,” he added.