“Kolamaavu Kokila”… This black comedy needed more energy, but it has its moments

Posted on August 17, 2018


Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/kolamavu-kokila-review-tamil-movie-baradwaj-rangan/

The archetypal premise of Kolamavu Kokila, directed by Nelson, is at least as old as K Balachander’s Arangetram (possibly even older): a woman from a respectable family is in need of money, which leads her into a disreputable profession. It was sex work there; here, it’s smuggling drugs. But the happy twist is that Kolamavu Kokila is no weepie, and neither is it, thankfully, a heart-in-the-right-place empowerment drama. (These seem to be the only two flavours of heroine-oriented films, though the fact that a heroine has been asked to carry a “nice girls usually don’t do things like this” narrative is certainly its own kind of empowerment.) I would have enjoyed it more if Kokila (Nayanthara) weren’t presented as such a wide-eyed victim, had she learnt to enjoy the headiness that comes from breaking the law, but… baby steps, baby steps!

There’s a lot to cheer in Kolamavu Kokila. As in Aramm, there’s no hero — instead, we get Yogi Babu as Sekar, a provisions shop owner who carries a torch for Kokila and gets a fun music video set to Anirudh’s super-catchy Kalyana vayasu. Frankly speaking, this is a looksist conceit that wants us to laugh at the mere fact that a guy who looks like Yogi Babu can dream of getting a girl who looks like Nayanthara. (Yogi Babu is a terrific comedian, and it would be a shame if he became the Usilai Mani of this generation, used for the same “joke” over and over.) But on the other hand, this, again, points to Nayanthara’s adventurousness in picking parts. I don’t see too many top heroines, today, saying yes to films where the answer to the “Who is your co-star?” question is “Yogi Babu!”

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil