Thursday, 9 February, 2023
HomeFeaturesReel TakeRoju's Kaiyum Kalavum has a flawless plot where logic has no place

Roju’s Kaiyum Kalavum has a flawless plot where logic has no place

The SonyLiv series tells the story of an unnamed boy who is cursed with a literal itch to suppress desire, and a clumsy member of a pickpocket gang.

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Have you ever witnessed magic? Pure and simple, wrapped in a brain-blitzing fantasy? If not, perhaps Roju’s latest eight-part web series, Kaiyum Kalavum, will be your first taste of a universe where logic has no place, but the story is omnipresent.

The SonyLiv series is a rare and brave attempt at mastering magical realism—pioneered by the likes of Salman Rushdie and Yann Martel—a complex genre where absurd and fantastical elements are seamlessly inserted into real-life situations. Kaiyum Kalavum tells the story of an unnamed ‘boy’ (played by Roju himself) who is cursed with a literal itch to suppress desire, and Anbu (Sanchana Natarajan), a clumsy member of a pickpocket gang who is always down on luck. The two only confide in invisible entities (Bobby Simha and Chinmayi Sripada) who also serve as the show’s narrators.

Bizarre plot, characters

From a self-hating, belligerent homemaker who wants to kill herself to an eccentric, gun-toting lawyer who cannot express his feelings for the woman he loves—a series of outlandish characters and serendipitous events bring the two star-crossed lovers together. All that happens in between adds colour and depth to the story.

Like Mammooty’s PuzhuKaiyum Kalavum begins with good old foreshadowing, except that Roju relies on animation to tell his tale. It is interesting to see stunning motion graphics merge with real-life scenes, shot well by cinematographer Sandeep K.Vijay.

Roju also does a fantastic job of ensuring smooth transitions between scenes. As absurd as it is, nothing and no one feels out of place, and the series of events gradually align to make the protagonists meet. While one steals objects of desire to break a nasty curse, the other steals to survive in a cruel city. Despite the complexity of this genre, it doesn’t take long for viewers to put two and two together—both protagonists are isolated, alone, and struggling to find an outlet for their pent-up emotionsBoth keep ending up at the wrong place at the right time. Both break each other’s curse. The series has a flawless plot.


Also read: Shallow, superfluous, frustrating—Sonakshi Sinha and Huma Qureshi’s Double XL is a dud


An excellent cast

Kaiyum Kalavum also deserves credit for its careful casting. Each episode sports a big name from the South Indian film industry. Ramya Nambeesan, for one, is excellent as an angry and suicidal housewife, while Vivek Prasanna is convincing as the pimp who uses law as a front for his prostitution business. Tamil actor Jeeva also deserves special mention for her role as PMC, the caring-but-often-harsh matriarch of the pickpocket gang Anbu is part of.

From absurdism to magical realism, Kaiyum Kalavum uses many literary and theatrical tools to tell a story like no other.

“The one thing I wanted to explore was to write a story that could not be explained in a line or brought down to a single sentence,” Roju told Film Companion’s Shruthi Ganapathy Ram in an interview. We couldn’t agree more.

(Edited by Ratan Priya)

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Have you ever witnessed magic? Pure and simple, wrapped in a brain-blitzing fantasy? If not, perhaps Roju’s latest eight-part web series, Kaiyum Kalavum, will be your first taste of a universe where logic has no place, but the story is omnipresent. The SonyLiv series is a...Roju's Kaiyum Kalavum has a flawless plot where logic has no place