A Blog on Cinema

Review Roundup: Kaiyoppu


There are parallels between Ranjith, the script writer and the hero of his new movie Balachandran. Both of them lost their creativity – Ranjith with movies like Chandrolsavam and Prajapathi and Balachandran just unable to finish his novel. Some reviewers think it is a path breaking film and are impressed with the way the movie has turned out.

Velu Nair says

The film marks the reentry of a writer who had been on a digression mode for the last few years. It almost seems implausible that this sublime creation arises out of the same pen that cooked up a warped specimen as Prajapathi, that was clearly symptomatic of cerebral diarrhea. However, this time around, Renjith grabs the fake Malayali machismo by the neck, and slams it against the wall resolutely with a caricature that finds life in Lalitha (Neena Kurup) who drives around with her hubby behind her on the scooter, or curtly asks why she couldn’t have a quick drink with her male companions.

Kaiyoppu cannot be denied the status of a path breaking film, in that it callously shreds apart the traditional milieu that has been choking Malayalam cinema almost to death. And in doing so, it never takes upon itself the role of the preacher, and rests content with the curt deliverance of a few messages that never ever insolently poke the viewer on the chest; yet slightly nudge to remind him as to what had gone amiss in his life and the world, while he was fast asleep. And as such, Kaiyoppu remains one of the most momentous cinematic signatures in recent times.

Paresh Palicha in Rediff

It is also to Ranjith’s credit that he makes a film which looks intensely personal in the first half relatively universal as it goes on. The pacing of the film is slow and might be criticised for appearing pretentious, but the peppy dialogues keep the momentum going.

Mammootty on his part looks the introverted struggling author. The way he carries himself brings out the feeling of him being both a spent force as well as a resurgent genius.

Mukesh plays a perfect foil to Mammootty’s character, with his enthusiasm and exuberance never going overboard. Kushboo too should be commended, as most of the time she is alone in the frame talking on the phone.

Kayyoppu, being a marked departure from the typical Ranjith style of filmmaking, deserves at least a watch. comments:

Kayyoppu (Signature), directed by Ranjith, is a film that has the maker’s signature all over it. Though it may not be a crowd puller, the film impresses you, shocks you, disturbs you and awakens you to grim realities that are mostly overlooked. In spite of some flaws the film stands apart, and is worth seeing more than once.

Mammootty as the central character Balachandran is very impressive. Occasionally though, the star in him comes to the fore making his performance seem a bit artificial to keen observers. Khushboo as Padma, Mukesh as Sivadasan, Nedumudi Venu as C.P. Vasudevan, Narayanan Nair as Balachandran’s estate-manager and father-figure Kammaran, Jaffer as Babu who looks after things in the lodge etc have done their respective roles very convincingly

It is the sensitive approach of the director that makes the film stand apart. The very touching and disturbing climax remains etched in our minds for a long time. Though one gets the feeling that Ranjith occasionally tries to be a little arty, the director ought to be appreciated for a film that is definitely not to be missed by those who love good cinema.

IndiaGlitz says:

The sensitive approach of the director makes way to the characters which are built worthwhile. The way Ranjith has presented Balachandran and the world around him is just awesome! Mammootty as the introverted struggling author Balachandran is very impressive. The peppy dialogues keeps us engaged over the snailish pace in which story unfolds. Mukesh comes out with a brilliant performance. But Khushbu as Padma steals the show and she has done it with a bang. Narayanan Nair as Balachandran’s estate-manager, Nedumudi Venu as C.P. Vasudevan and Jaffer as Babu who looks after things in the lodge, Mamukoya etc have done their respective roles very commendably.


  1. I wonder why no one writes a comment on this film.This was Mammoty’s best film of the year.
    I havent seen Mammoty underplaying so well in any other movie.Renjith has worked out a very good character for him.Applauds should also go to Khushboo,Anoop,Mukesh etc who have played their roles well.
    This really was a very good movie with a perfect mix of direction ,Photography and background music.

    Hats off to director Ranjith for such a brave effort.

  2. Even i wonder y no one comments on this movie and y it didn;t get the attention it deserved from mallus across globe. i felt it’s been a long time since i watched a sensible and realistic movie in malayalm. reminded me of padmarajan movies n how much i still miss him!!
    one thing i felt the reviewers all left out on commenting on kaiyoppu is the fact the movie is not about a struggling writer overcoming his block or about lovers rekindling their romance at middle age. this movie is a strong statement against communal terrorism spreading fast n deep all over the world. it’s about what someone is losing when we causally read over newspaper headlines tht 10 persons/50 persons are killed in a bomb blast at some faraway city. it’s the about the unrealisable value of a good human life which is so cruelly destroyed without reflecting for a moment what is essentially getting destroyed. the scene at the police station is the crux of the story – here the hero says everything ranjith wanted to say in this movie. many commented after watching tht the climax was a deviation from main story line. the truth is the whole story is built around tht one blast at the climax so tht the viewers can feel the shock of a blind terrorist act and its impact on innocent but invaluable life of a single person.khushboo did a terrific job in this movie n truly deserved an award. she came out to be strong and independent sensous and dignified at the same time. v surprising to see such a female character in renjit movie as he usually showcases the heroines as this awe struck knee weak desperate for attention creatures catering to the super male ego. every other small character in the movie has done an impressive job esp mukesh. mammootty did good but i felt at places he could’ve been better n his age is becoming a real hindrance to play even a 35+ character. we can only laugh when Nedumudi describes him as a brilliant ‘cheruppakaran’ in the opening scene.
    i was moved by the whole experience of ‘kaiyoppu’ n i feel it should be viewed by every serious movie buffs.

  3. tnx Varsha,atleast u made a comment on the film.
    But i have a complaint about ur comment on Renjith.He has made female oriented films earlier also;take Nandanam,Mizhi Randilum etc for examples.And Mammootty’s age in the movie is 41(it is clearly said at the end of the film).And he looked perfect for that age.

    The movie as you said was brilliant and its a pity that it didn’t even the reviews which it actually deserved.

  4. Dear friends ,i just want to get ur opinion on a topic.Shoukd the credit of a good film be given to its director or its script writer.I have varoius examples to tell about.Sibi Malayil made brilliant films,like Kireedam,Bhratam,Chenkol,Dasharatham etc but all were scripted by Lohitadas;and without Lohithadas all his other films were so poor and flops too(Amritham,Alice in wonderland,Jalotsavam etc).Now take Hariharan ‘the best example on this topic his films in combinbation with M.T. were brilliant and hits too.(Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha,Parinayam,Nakhakshatangal,Panchagni,Amritham Gamaya etc).But when he did films alone they had no class at all(eg:Mayoogham,Prem pujari etc).
    Now take the ace director of 80s I.V.Shashi,with Mt and T Damodaran he made films like Vartha,Adimakal Udamakal,Anubandham,Mithya,EE Nadu Mukti etc but withoutthem his films were Symphony,EE nadu Innale Vare,Ayiram Meni,Anubhoothi etc-these films were absolute wastes.

    But inspite of all these;in Malayalm film industry main credit is given to directors and script writers often donot get what they deserve.
    And would like you all to tell your opinion on this.

  5. Visakh, reverse is also true, some times the script writers are flop directors – Lohitha das,Ranjan Pramod etc. It’s the team work – good script writer and a good director which makes a good movie.

  6. Where are the awards for the performers? To the critics of Mammotty’s acting – this was by far one of his best films. I saw a very real and ordinary person through his acting. Awesome movie. Should not be missed! Script writer, director and the actors – excellent job!

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