Kuruthi: A Nerve Wracking Thriller

Before going into the film Kuruthi (burnt offering) it is necessary to applaud Prithviraj Sukumaran for producing a film of this sort. It is a brave film which talks about how our country is fast slipping into divisiveness. Apart from dealing with religious bigotry it also talks about a kind of humanism where communities help each other to survive.

The film starts with a shot of a goat which is about to be ritually sacrificed by a plantation worker Ibrahim played by Roshan Mathew, his young daughter who has grown fond of the goat implores her dad to not kill him. It is not clear whether Ibrahim ultimately kills the goat but nevertheless the scene gives us an idea into his character. We see that he has a sense of kindness and consideration.

The background story of Roshan Mathew’s character is that a terrible landslide killed his wife. He lives with his child along with an aged father and a younger brother. The Hindu neighbour Sumathi played by Srindaa cooks for them and takes care of the family. Sumathi is the only woman in the ensemble of men.

One night as Ibrahim and his family are waiting for Sumathi and the dinner there is a knock on the door. An inspector (Mural Gopi) barges in with a Hindu prisoner. The prisoner is accused of accidentally killing a Muslim in the chaos which followed the desecration of a temple. Later when things get tense Sumathi asks Ibrahim if he would stay quiet if a mosque was to be ravished.

What follows is a cat and mouse game when Liaq (Prithviraj Sukumaran) along with his friend try to get into the house and kill the prisoner. This is the synopsis.

One of the highlights of Kuruthi is the characterization of Roshan Mathew’s Ibrahim. He is someone who is torn between the religious fanaticism and a sense of humanism. The way the character has been built up and how he goes to his maximum level of saving the Hindu boy has been portrayed with lot of finesse. A scene which deserves a particular mention is the one between the character of Srinaada and the family in the context of the prisoner.

In this scene she gives an important message on peaceful co existence and it is something which feels very relevant particularly in today’s times.

Director Manu Warrier uses the set up of a home invasion thriller to talk about many issues. Apart from the already mentioned ones you have the growing fear of the majoritarian sentiment, alienation of minorities etc. To pack these many things is a difficult task and in the hands of a less skilled director it would have fallen flat, however thanks to Manu Warrier’s skilled direction the film never gets dreary and works perfectly as microcosm of our society.

The ultimate message is that the violence committed in the name of a god is a vicious cycle and is never going to stop until the individual takes one for the greater good of human civilization.

Besides the political aspect of the film Kuruthi also works as a nerve wracking thriller. The set of the home invasion has been well used and the director skillfully builds up the suspense. He is aided well by the cinematography and the overall technical department.

The performances of all the actors add more magic to this film. But the ones who stand out are Roshan Mathew, Prithviraj Sukumaran and Srinaada.

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