Kuruthi is let down by poor execution -- there are too many loose ends and most of the arguments seemed too forced, like there was an urgent responsibility to balance the blame without taking sides, points out Divya Nair.
Directed by Manu Warrier, Kuruthi (meaning ritual slaughter) is a gripping Malayalam thriller set against the backdrop of a communal riot in a small village in Kerala.
Ibrahim (played by Roshan Andrews) is a middle class labourer, who is grappling with the traumatic loss of his daughter and wife due to a landslide. He lives with his father Moosa (Mamukoya) and brother Rasool, who is slowly being led on the path of terrorism by a common friend Kareem (Shine Tom Chacko).
Their neighbour Sumathi (Srindaa), who has a soft corner for Ibrahim, often visits and takes care of the family.
When Sumathi proposes marriage to Ibrahim, he points out that they belong to different religions, hence their paths are different.
These subtle pent-up emotions and sub-plots are triggered when one night, police officer Sathyan (Murali Gopy) breaks into Ibrahim's home and takes refuge with a prisoner named Vishnu.
Prithviraj plays Laiq, the anti-hero chasing the cop, who wants Vishnu dead.
What is Vishnu's crime?
The story keeps developing as more people get involved, adding new dimensions to the plot. Even though Prithviraj is the bigger anti-hero, Roshan's Ibrahim keeps the chunk to himself, making the viewer wonder what his next move would be.
He is vulnerable, confused, and now his faith and beliefs are put to test.
There is no right or wrong, nothing is black or white.
Every human thought and action has a consequence.
So what will Ibrahim choose and how will he explain why he did it?
Will he kill, sacrifice or let go?
And what will it cost him?
If the Tovino starrer Kala triggered the trend of psychological thrillers dissecting human emotions, Kuruthi attempts yet another promising premise but fails to deliver.
As a viewer, you keep hoping the film to get better and give you more clarity only to be left perplexed, wondering what did you miss.
Even with a stellar cast, Kuruthi falters and is let down by poor execution -- there are too many loose ends and most of the arguments seemed too forced, like there was an urgent responsibility to balance the blame without taking sides.
As far as individual performances are concerned, even brilliant actors like Murali, Mamukoya and Shine Tom Chacko feel as lost like the debutante director in this plot written by Anish Pallyal.
Although this is Prithviraj's first Malayalam film in a negative role, it doesn't quite live up to the hype.
You are neither interested in Laiq's weak backstory nor feel justified enough to engage in the arguments he makes.
Having said that, the stunts and action scenes deserve special mention here because that's what keeps you briefly engaged in the drama.
During these uncertain times of political unrest where crimes are committed in the guise of religion, community and a twisted sense of morality, Kuruthi's underlying message of the consequences of hate and how an 'an eye for an eye gets the whole world blind' is the key takeaway for viewers.
Kuruthi streams on Amazon Prime Video.