Dulquer Salman’s crime biopic ‘Kurup’ takes too many liberties with a true storey.

Kurup starts with a long disclaimer, which, like all disclaimers, is full of half-truths and then vanishes. It appears to be an attempt to separate the film from the true storey on which it is definitely based. The heinous crime that made Kurup famous does not appear in the film until it is well into the second act. However, the film, which takes a lot of artistic licence, portrays this crime as one of a sequence of similar acts committed by Gopikrishna Kurup (Dulquer Salman).

Jithin penned the storey and script. K. Jose, K.S.Aravind, and Daniell Sayooj Nair devote a significant amount of work to fleshing out their characters’ backstories. Kurup’s deceitful nature is revealed right away, when he deceives his parents into believing that he has passed a public examination when he has not. He devises ways to get things done his way and earn money in the Air Force training camp, as well.Some of the early sequences, such as one in which he deceives the rest of the trainees and another during a college rock festival, appear contrived, with the sole purpose of emphasising the character’s flamboyant attitude. Saradha’s (Sobhita Dhulipala) romance likewise appears to exist just to fulfil the requirements of a mainstream film, with the character nearly completely disappearing in the second half.

Kurup’s storey is told through his Air Force colleague Peter’s (Sunny Wayne) recollections, police officer Krishnadas’ (Indrajith Sukumaran) notebook entries, and Kurup’s own version of the storey, which fills in the gaps left by the others. Because this movie is all about Kurup, his wicked intentions to go up the ladder, and of course, his various trendy looks, Charlie (another celebrity in a surprise part), the victim of Kurup’s criminal conduct to claim an insurance amount, and his family, only get a few scenes.

To their credit, the writers do reveal Kurup’s criminal inclination, but on screen, the camera frequently worships him as a hero, with the undeniable heroic tone of the background soundtrack in sequences where he eludes the cops and his other foes. Compare and contrast this portrayal of Kurup with that of the character in NH 47, a 1984 film based on the same occurrence. Despite its sloppily written sequences and low production qualities, it got Kurup, played by T.G.Ravi, right, with the viewer never feeling compelled to sympathise with or applaud for a scene in which he appears.Despite the fact that the makers of Kurup have included enough footage to defend themselves against charges of glorifying a criminal, they also appear to have felt obligated to incorporate some moments to appease the star’s admirers.

The production design is one of the things the film gets right, notably in scenes set in the past, with nicely done recreations of the 1970s and 1980s. If it weren’t for the fact that it is based on a genuine terrible incident, one may have had a much nicer opinion of the script, which is engaging in places. They could have learned a few things from David Fincher’s Zodiac if the goal was to construct an engaging storey about a fugitive without ever mentioning him. Because, despite all the disclaimers, there’s only so much “creative” licence one can take with a true storey.

Kurup is now playing in theatres.

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