Keedam isn’t prescriptive on the query of technology-driven vigilante justice, however it avoids addressing the complexities concerned in the usage of surveillance strategies together with their misuse by the powers that be
Keedam is a thriller a couple of tech knowledgeable punishing the boys who harassed her on her cellphone, it is usually greater than that. Initially, Radhika Balan (Rajisha Vijayan) is painfully moral in her use of know-how. The turning level in Keedam is her determination to go after her stalkers exterior the framework of the legislation. However the movie’s defining scene that units it aside from others in its style is the one through which her father, Balan (Sreenivasan), tells her in a voice limp with concern that he’s afraid, and she or he reacts to this revelation.
It’s uncommon for a outstanding male character in a business Indian movie to admit to being susceptible, extra so to a daughter, and for such a person to not be derided by the tone of the movie. Not like male protagonists in comparable conditions with girls they love, Radhika doesn’t turn out to be a roaring lion who single-handedly vanquishes gangs and armies. Nor does she conform to Indian cinema’s ‘sturdy lady’ trope by metamorphosing right into a Kali/Durga/Chandi-like raging determine who is absolutely the reverse of the extra dominant cinematic cliché: girls who dangle round ready for males to avoid wasting them. What we get as a substitute in Keedam is an actual lady. She loves her father, is able to and intent on taking good care of herself and him, makes errors that standard folks do in such circumstances however isn’t detached to the risks she faces.
Author-director Rahul Riji Nair’s Keedam is proof that males can write robust girls with out resorting to stereotypes.
Keedam is centred across the brilliant, hard-working, independent-minded Radhika who runs a tech start-up. She shares a house together with her father who’s a retired and revered lawyer. Her livid response to a lascivious caller sooner or later angers the guy a lot that he begins hounding her. He’s a hardened prison, and she or he a cyber safety skilled. A battle follows through which he resorts to bodily aggression that she counters together with her data of know-how.
What does a predator do when his potential prey activates him? The keedam (pest) of the title isn’t who you may assume it’s at first look.
The movie works on many fronts. The technical language used and the processes adopted are neither indecipherable nor apparently dumbed down, however sound believable to an inexpert ear.
The scenes unveiling the gravity of the risk to Radhika are chilling. The narrative trots together with new developments coming at us at a gentle tempo. An prolonged chase and combat scene involving the police and gangsters is performed to sound design extra life like than the standard biff-bang-dishoom-dishoom that motion thrillers depend on and stunt choreography extra plausible than the usual larger-than-life fare.
Radhika’s considerably dangerous behaviour at a sure level isn’t glorified or (together with her gender in thoughts) considered by way of a judgemental lens. Her conduct is depicted as a pure development of responses to a difficult situation, the type of foolhardiness courageous folks generally exhibit.
Keedam is, properly, not prescriptive on the query of technology-driven vigilante justice. It simply reveals what it reveals and provides a cautionary be aware from Balan about attainable misuse.
The movie comes up brief although by avoiding taking his level additional. Although Radhika and the police in Keedam are well-intentioned, we all know that the powers that be worldwide have been making a mockery of residents’ privateness by misusing surveillance strategies, however the movie stays away from addressing these complexities and their disastrous results.
The place Keedam scores is with Radhika’s easygoing equation together with her father of their democratic house. She is protecting in direction of him however not overbearing. He’s anxious about her future and her security within the current, however doesn’t use his concern as an excuse to regulate and curb her. There was a small crop of relatively properly written father-daughter relationships coming from star-led Malayalam cinema lately that includes bold girls and a single father or mother: Parvathy and Siddique in Uyare, Anna Ben and Lal in Helen, and now, this.
Sreenivasan actually kills it as a apprehensive father or mother in Keedam, particularly with that stand-out heart-wrenching scene through which Balan confides in Radhika. Rajisha by no means as soon as strays from her pitch as a feisty genius who isn’t, nonetheless, Surprise Girl.
Violence in opposition to girls, on-line harassment and its offline perils are recurring subjects in Rahul Riji Nair’s works. Nair debuted with the superb Ottamuri Velicham (The Gentle within the Room, 2017) a couple of bodily abusive husband and a timid new bride in a sparsely inhabited, high-altitude countryside. His Kalla Nottam (The False Eye, 2019) was about unlawful surveillance, voyeurs and self-appointed ethical police.
Whereas Keedam makes for attention-grabbing viewing, it doesn’t match as much as Nair’s maiden enterprise. A part of the reason being an absence of the rootedness he as soon as captured so nicely. In Ottamuri Velicham, the scent of the pure mountain air and the soil of that treacherous panorama virtually wafted off the display. In Keedam, he appears to be striving for an Anyplace Everyplace really feel, which is never factor.
This goal is underlined by the inexplicable use of Hindi strains in a music on this movie. The selection of language has no contextual relevance, and has the impact of dragging Keedam down right into a type of cultural limbo. Malayalam filmmakers have to cease unthinkingly shoving Hindi and English strains into their scripts and songs. (For extra on that, click on right here and right here.)
On this and different methods, Keedam doesn’t dwell as much as its promise. Nonetheless, the general narrative move, the performing, the timeliness of the socially vital premise and the constant centrality of Radhika within the plot even whereas different characters are given enough house and substance make it worthwhile. In a powerful supporting solid, be careful for Renjit Shekar Nair who performed the candy, easy village faculty worker with a bobbing head in Kho Kho, and for this movie has remodeled himself right into a menacing, bodily intimidating villain. His function in Keedam might simply have been over-done and hammed, however there’s a line he’s cautious to not cross.
Tech-based movies are usually not frequent in Malayalam, however like 2021’s Operation Java, Keedam too appears at house with its chosen topic. The thriller facet retains the movie going, however what helps it rise above the simplistic tackle its theme is the heartening method through which it re-imagines the illustration of the father-daughter bond and overturns cinema’s man-as-protector trope.
Ranking: 2.75 (out of 5 stars)
Keedam is presently in theatres
Anna M.M. Vetticad is an award-winning journalist and writer of The Adventures of an Intrepid Movie Critic. She specialises within the intersection of cinema with feminist and different socio-political issues. Twitter: @annavetticad, Instagram: @annammvetticad, Fb: AnnaMMVetticadOfficial
Learn all of the Newest Information, Trending Information, Cricket Information, Bollywood Information, India Information and Leisure Information right here. Comply with us on Fb, Twitter and Instagram.