In the directorial debut of Roby Varghese Raj, “Kannur Squad” emerges as a gripping police procedural thriller that assembles a stellar cast, with Mammootty at the helm, to tell a story that saves its best punches for the third act.
A Stellar Ensemble and a Thrilling Tale
“Kannur Squad” marks the directorial debut of Roby Varghese Raj and is written by Muhammed Shafi and Rony David. With a powerhouse cast that includes Mammootty, Vijayaraghavan, Kishore, Rony David, Shabareesh Varma, Azees Nedumangad, and Arjun Radhakrishnan, the film delves into the intricate world of law enforcement.
The story revolves around ASI George, portrayed by Mammootty, who leads a special police squad known for its rapid-solving capabilities, even if it means bending the rules. When one of their members faces a bribery scandal, the team is disbanded, only to be reassembled to investigate a gruesome murder and assault case involving a local politician and his family.
Exploring the Complexities of Law Enforcement
Malayalam cinema has recently produced exceptional films that shed light on the police system’s intricacies, such as “Unda,” “Operation Java,” “Nayattu,” “Iratta,” “Kuttavum Sikshayum,” and “Thangam.” “Kannur Squad” aspires to join this esteemed list. While it doesn’t surpass some of its contemporaries, it offers moments that captivate the audience.
A Slow-Burning Start
The film’s first half introduces the squad’s operations before the bribery scandal, allowing viewers to become acquainted with the leader and members. However, it takes its time to build momentum, and the screenplay lacks the gripping feeling needed in a narrative of this nature.
A Compelling Second Half
The story truly comes alive in the second half as the squad embarks on a nationwide road trip to track down the culprits. These portions resonate with films like “Kuttavum Sikshayum,” though the latter had a more profound impact. “Kannur Squad” grapples with an inconsistent approach, attempting to balance realism with occasional commercial elements that feel out of place.
Mammootty’s Brilliance and Memorable Performances
Mammootty’s performance injects urgency and intensity into his character, making a lasting impact. Rony David Raj and Azees Nedumangad deliver fantastic performances, while Shabareesh Varma commendably portrays his character, despite a clichéd character arc. Kishore effectively portrays the squad’s superior, and Arjun Radhakrishnan leaves a chilling impression as the main antagonist.
The Climax and Inconsistencies
The film’s climax includes a fight scene that struggles to strike a balance between mass appeal and realism. However, it manages to evoke an unexpected emotional response.
“Kannur Squad” has its moments of brilliance and gripping storytelling, but it also grapples with inconsistencies that detract from its overall impact. Nevertheless, it joins the ranks of Malayalam cinema’s commendable efforts to shed light on the complexities of the law enforcement system while showcasing stellar performances from its cast, led by the brilliant Mammootty.