Director: KV Anand
Cast: Suriya, Sayyeshaa, Mohanlal, Arya, Boman Irani, Samuthirakani
In Kaappaan, which marks the third collaboration between Suriya and KV Anand after the highly enjoyable Ayan and the innovative Maattrraan, the duo aims for a fast-paced action thriller that’s intended to be a tribute to the commandos of Special Protection Group, but ends up delivering an ambitious attempt that’s all over the place and mostly flat. Despite Suriya’s earnest performance and Anand’s commendable vision, the film fizzles out even before you walk out of the theatre.
The film opens with an assassination attack on the Indian Prime Minister, Chandrakanth Varma, played by Mohanlal. PM Varma, with the help of his security personnel, escapes unhurt. Soon, we are introduced to Kathiresan (Suriya), an intelligence officer who also doubles up as an organic farmer in a small village in Thanjavur. Before you know it, Kathir is investigating the attack on the PM, and he’s doing all this while delivering a lecture on organic farming to a local TV reporter. Impressed with his work, Kathir is soon deputed as officer in the Special Protection Group (SPG), an elite security force that guards the PM.
Watch the Kaappaan trailer here
The premise of Kaappaan is interesting, at least on paper. Here’s a film that wants to pay tribute to the soldiers of SPG, but it’s never serious in its intent and ends up as an effort that defeats the core purpose of making a movie on these unsung heroes. Kaappaan wants to be both an action film as well as a message drama (a needless subplot) on the plight of farmers. At one point, it focuses so much on the farmers’ issue that it becomes frustratingly boring to sit through. This is the second time in a row that Suriya has played an organic farmer and one shouldn’t be surprised if he leaves acting for an alternate profession.
Mohanlal as the Prime Minister is majorly miscast and he spends most of his screen time mouthing patriotic dialogues that hardly make an impact. While the first half of the film has moments that assure Kaappaan has something interesting to offer, the second half squanders the little hope with an underwhelming turn of events. Suriya tries his best to keep the film afloat but there’s not much he could do when his efforts are not complemented by the writing. KV Anand’s films are usually powered by exciting themes – smuggling in Ayan, Siamese twins in Maattraan – but unfortunately his idea of exploring the lives of SPG commandos backfires miserably, falling flat on its face.
Kaappaan has very little to cheer for and even these moments aren’t great by KV Anand standards. The much hyped action sequences also don’t really leave you in awe and make up for a disappointing and dull narrative. If only Anand concentrated on making a full-blown action film, Kaappaan would’ve made for an engaging watch.