Kamala, directed by Ranjith Sankar and starring Aju Varghese and Ruhani Sharma, attempts to be a somber thriller but falls short due to misplaced humor, shallow writing, and underdeveloped characters.
Unsettling Comedy and Misogynistic Undertones:
A rape attempt scene in the middle of the film is treated as a comedy, showcasing a lack of self-awareness and sensitivity. Other characters and the camera often objectify Kamala’s character as the film gets stuck on the question of her promiscuity rather than exploring her personality.
Weak Character Development and Plot:
The intrigue around Kamala (Ruhani Sharma) dissipates quickly as the narrative focuses more on her physical appearance and newspaper cuttings rather than exploring her internal conflicts and pain. The film’s other protagonist, Safar (Aju Varghese), is equally underdeveloped, with both characters being described as intelligent but not living up to that claim within the film.
Forced Virtual World Connections:
Ranjith Sankar’s obsession with the virtual world is apparent as Safar and Kamala meet on OLX, which the director seems to treat as a dating site for business professionals. This forced connection adds to the film’s clumsiness and lack of authenticity.
Poor Depiction of Tribal and Naxalite Movements:
The film distorts the reality of tribal and Naxalite movements in Kerala, painting marginalized low-income groups as mindlessly violent and centering the story around a sophisticated character, further alienating the film from its reality.
Kamala needs to deliver on the potential of the thriller genre, offering little tension or intrigue. Even if the logical loopholes are overlooked, the film is irredeemable due to its misplaced humor, shallow writing, and underdeveloped characters. The only remarkable aspect of the film is the casting choice of Aju Varghese in a role that requires gravitas.