The story of Sukumara Kurup– one of the most wanted Indian fugitives who faked his own death by taking the life of a lookalike for life insurance– is one of the most spine-chilling crime stories to have come out of India. The fact that he managed to pull off the crime and not get caught till date makes this story even more exciting. Dulquer Salman’s Kurup, a compelling crime drama, attempts to narrate this story of the notorious, elusive criminal in the most realistic fashion while taking certain cinematic liberties. Spanning over three decades, Kurup manages to impress, especially in recreating the mood of the times.
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Kurup opens in the year 2005 at the retirement ceremony of deputy superintendent of police Krishnadas (Indrajith Sukumaran). As Krishnadas gets his office cleaned, his subordinate stumbles upon a diary named Kurup, and through it, we’re introduced to Gopi Krishna aka GK (Dulquer Salmaan) who later becomes Sudhakara Kurup. GK is introduced as a wayward youngster who has always lived life on his own terms. He joins the Indian Air Force after his parents and uncle feel it’s the perfect place to discipline him. GK is the kind of guy who always has a trick up his sleeve. He knows ways to earn a few bucks quickly, and he soon turns into an expatriate, and later, a fugitive. GK goes on to acquire the identity of Sudhakara Kurup, and the rest of the story is about how he fooled the entire Kerala police department and led them on a never-ending hunt for his whereabouts.
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It’s heartening to know that Srinath Rajendran doesn’t try to humanize this story of a fugitive, who almost became a heroic figure among people. The film presents Kurup with all his flaws and enables us to see him as this man with no ethics whatsoever. As the central character, Dulquer Salman plays Kurup with unmatchable swag and effortlessness. Most of the first half is spent on building the character and thankfully there’s no explaining behind what made Kurup so flawed. The film does take the mainstream route to somewhat stylishly showcase Kurup’s character and it’s understandable that these things are needed when it comes to commercial cinema. Thankfully, it doesn’t go overboard. The recreation of the period portion – the 70s, 80s and 90s – aids beautifully in storytelling and setting up the mood of the film. The narrative is also strongly elevated by the brilliant score by Sushin Shyam.
Kurup does feel long drawn at times but the suspense behind the huntkeeps the film largely engaging. Indrajith Sukumaran is aptly cast as the investigating police officer and as much as you’d feel that his characters doesn’t get its due, it’s well justified in the end.