Varikkuzhiyile Kolapathakam Review: Amit Chakkalakkal shines in this riveting mystery
When most thrillers are about solving the mystery of the killer, this film manages to keep us glued to our seats in spite of the killer’s identity being revealed pretty early
Looking at Father Vincent Kombana’s (Amit Chakkalakkal) activities, one might wonder if he is really a pastor or a police officer. He runs his church and the picturesque island on which it is located as if it were a police precinct.
An ex-cop who had to quit the force on account of a small incident, Vincent’s late night ‘confession’ sessions are actually an excuse for him to display his muscle power on miscreants in the neighbourhood.
Director: Rejishh Midhila
Cast: Amit Chakkalakkal, Dileesh Pothan, Nandhu, Lal
To put it simply, he is a ‘mass’ hero in a priest’s garb and is not above taking pleasure in his showmanship. But this is not a film with grand intro sequences or exaggerated fights. It knows when to start and when to stop. Through a short flashback, we get a glimpse of Vincent’s superb fighting skills, but the film is more about brains than brawn.
We also get to see Vincent’s family, who are not depressed about the fact that he is a priest, and support his unconventional methods, especially his firebrand father (Lal), who, just like his son, has a penchant for breaking rules.
With a blistering ferocity to match his awesome charisma, the pastor is capable of holding everyone’s attention with his mere presence. It makes perfect sense why Vincent has to run things with an iron hand, considering the number of foxes and wolves residing on the island in sheep’s clothing. They all come out to play in the dark, and it doesn’t take very long before the island’s murky, unpleasant truths come to the surface. During one of his late night vigils, Vincent witnesses a shocking murder. The perpetrator confesses the crime to him, banking on the belief that it’s unethical for a priest to make a confession public.
However, the motive for the crime, and the identity of the victim, are not easy to guess, and Vincent has no alternative but to do some digging of his own. But what if the killer has a couple more tricks up his sleeve? Will Vincent be able to stay one step ahead of him? Like some of the recent entries in Malayalam cinema, we get characters who find their masculinity being challenged and some others who find a way to tame their macho instincts.
When most thrillers are about solving the mystery of the killer, Varikuzhiyile Kolapathakam manages to keep us glued to our seats in spite of the killer’s identity being revealed minutes before the interval. It helps that there is an effectively scene-stealing Sherlock Holmes-type lead character to complement the taut screenplay, and a competent filmmaker at the helm. Here's hoping we get to see Vincent in a couple of sequels at least.