Release Date : Oct 22,2015
Kanal (aka) Kanal review

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Production: Abraham Mathew
Cast: Babilona, T Jeyakumar
Direction: T Jeyakumar
Screenplay: S. Suresh Babu
Story: S. Suresh Babu
Music: Ouseppachan, Vinu Thomas
Background score: Ouseppachan
Cinematography: Vinod Illampally
Dialogues: S. Suresh Babu
Editing: Ranjan Abraham
Lyrics: Dr. Madhu Vasudevan, Prakash Maraar
Distribution: Maxlab Cinemas And Entertainments
Kanal, which misleadingly begins like a social commentary on recession turns into a thriller in which multiple murders are featured. Mohanlal puts in a riveting performance in the movie, which is particularly weak in portions, especially when trying to portray him as a professional killer. The motivation for the murders does not match with the sequence of events. The recession during the late 2000s has a distinct effect on the primary characters and become the main reason for pivotal events in the movie. Anoop Menon plays a journalist with a conscience and does his part well.
The movie begins in Qatar on a tragic note. Recession has affected the business of two of the main characters essayed by Atul Kulkarni and Prathap Pothan. The scene then shifts to a train, where Mohanlal’s character meets Anoop Menon’s Anantha Raman. This sets off a chain of events, but whether the meeting had an influence on Mohanlal’s character is not known.
The movie has an interesting screenplay with many twists written by S Suresh Babu and bolstered by strong performances especially from the iconic Lalettan, who is also one of the producers of the movie. Fans of the thespian will be gratified and are sure to applaud from the gallery. The movie gives enough scope for the actor to showcase his famous acting skills, which adds the much-needed plausibility factor for the movie. Why the movie portrays his character as a womaniser is a question mark till the end.
The male bonding between John David and Anantha Raman is very well done and is the biggest strength of the movie. The extrovert John meeting the brooding Ananthu serves well for both of them by the time the plot moves through the byzantine twists and reaches its improbable end.
M Padmakumar is efficient as director, but displays a lack of feel for the screenplay. Done differently this movie would have approached greatness, but is a bit of a letdown, especially in the second half. However, he draws in brilliant performances from the ensemble cast. A humanistic portrayal of the recession is an overall failure especially as the movie plays up the thriller aspects. The recession and the paid news phenomenon serve as social filler in service of the thriller. However, the movie makes us empathise with the characters including the self-proclaimed villain.
Honey Rose brings in a feminine touch to the almost-Hitchcockian proceedings and serves as attractive candyfloss with a cute smile. This is not to take away the anything from the actor, who is also adequate in the acting department.
Ouseppachan and Vinu Thomas are good with the songs, but the background music is loud, jarring and is a throwback to the 1980s.
The technical department does its part well and aids in the telling of the story without bringing attention to itself.
The reference to 46 years of celibacy by John David is funny; even more so when it ends with the resultant birth of quadruplets. 
Verdict: Good movie with a desperate lack of inventiveness.
( 2.5 / 5.0 )