Nna Thaan Case Kodu (Sue Me), is a fantastic kaleidoscope into the modern day Kerala, in all its natural beauty, ability and the undeniable dysfunction portrayed through relatable humor and perfect casting.
One of the challenges we have seen in the post-pandemic moviedom in malayalam is the plethora of movies of the thriller genre that is merely soporific (like Heaven or 21 Grams). Then you have message movies that apparently yell at the viewer that you are caught in the cacophony of the act that you don't understand the message (like Jana Gana Mana). The last class of movies are basically a waste of time with no attempted messages, no thrills or anything other than yet another opportunity for the sycophants to continue tooting their horn for some individual that makes you want to hit the next person you see over the head lose whatever hope you have in your life (like Hridayam).
While this movie can be categorized as one that tries to send a message to the audience, the approach Ratheesh and team has taken is refreshingly simple and enjoyable. A story told through excellent writing and casting makes you wonder if the movie was indeed 2 hrs and 18 mins, in the backdrop of a message that resonates with everyone in Kerala or who cares about her.
The story is woven nicely in a remote village in Kasargod and the view of this world through the eyes of a petty thief, Rajeevan, played with consummate ease of a seasoned one by the producer himself. As he tries to mend his ways and starts aspiring to be a normal day laborer to make ends meet with his girlfriend, he is caught in an unfortunate series of events through no apparent fault of his. The end result is that he is mauled by a couple of ferocious dogs as is the vaunt in Kerala today. However, upon a bit of deeper dive, Rajeevan through his ragtag bunch of acquaintances and street smartness figures out that the real problem is the sad state of roads in the state maintained by the public works department under the guidance of the minister of public works, which made him jump into the dog's den for fear of his life while relieving himself on the side of the road. The rest of the story is a fascinating narrative of how the corrupt powers are taken to task. At the outset, the story, while interesting, has nothing that's earth shattering to write home about. This is where the skills of the creators of this movie starts standing out and takes it to a diferent level.
First and foremost, Ratheesh Balakrishnan Pothuval after his amazing Android Kuttappan and somewhat debatable Ka Ka Ka is exhibiting his unbelievable craft of writing and directing that will make movie makers of decades of experience think twice about their profession. The next person to call out is Rajesh Madhavan, the casting director, who like Ratheesh's prior movies does an interesting character in this movie too. I have no words to explain the talent of Rajesh in finding these actors who played the characters in the movie. The ensemble cast is a treat to watch, listen to, in their dialog delivery and facial expressions. When the movie ends, one feels sad about not being able to spend more time with each of them. Those who truly standout among a cast of about 30 or so who all pull out mesmerizing performances are the Magistrate (PP Kunhikrishnan), Shukkur Vakkeel (Adv Shukkur) , Sumalatha (Chithra Nair) and the casting director himself. Ratheesh and Rajesh have demonstrated that with sensible writing and brilliant casting, a movie can go from being merely good to great one. That's how I would remember this movie.