Kolamaavu Kokila movie review: Nayanthara is riveting as a drug peddler in a film laced with dark humour

Sreedhar Pillai

Aug,17 2018 15:37:57 IST

3/5

Kolamaavu Kokila aka Coco is an out and out Nayanthara film laced with black comedy. Director Nelson has made a bold script-driven female-centric film which, at the same time, is within the confines of the brand of Nayanthara, the ‘Lady Superstar’. The leading lady and all the women characters here do things differently from mainstream films and their actions are justified, owing to the circumstances in the plot.

Nayanthara in a still from Kolamuvu Kokila

Nayanthara in a still from Kolamaavu Kokila

Kokila (Nayanthara) is a shy and timid lower middle class girl, who at the same time, is street smart. She, in a way, is the sole bread winner in her family, consisting of her dad (RS Sivaji), a security guard at an ATM, her college-going sister and her loving mother (Saranya Ponvannan), who runs the family with an iron hand. Kokila’s introduction scene spells out her character. She works as a salesgirl in an electronic shop and is not happy with the salary rise offered by her supervisor. The guy hints that if he is made 'happy', he will recommend her name to the general manager. Her retort is simple, "Why should I make you 'happy', when I can go straight to the GM and make him ‘happy’?"

She walks out of her job and against the wishes of her father and joins a massage parlour as a receptionist. One day, she is shocked to know that her mother is suffering from lung cancer and the family needs Rs 15 lakhs for her treatment. She approaches relatives, NGO and others including a rich old man, who wants her to be his 'keep' (paramour) and also provide her a bungalow. Meanwhile, in a mix-up, she meets an influential drug lord. As she is pushed against the wall trying to meet her mother’s medical bills, she decides to become a Kolamavu (Tamil slang for cocaine) peddler.

Nobody, including a prying cop (Saravanan), will ever suspect the beautiful and coy Kokila to be a drug peddler. And Kokila uses her demure nature to win over people and then get her job done without losing her dignity. In a crucial interval block scene, the stammering and frightened girl smartly turns the tables on the deadly drug leaders by making the boss shoot his own men. 

Director Nelson subtly conveys the message that women empowerment is the way to take on the male-dominated society. All the male characters are shown as either wimps, or trying to entice or romance women, including the chief comedian (Yogi Babu). Even Guru, the cop who is after the gang, is controlled by his wife.

The film belongs to Nayanthara. She is riveting in a totally deglamourised role. Her introduction and the interval block scene will make you clap out loud. Saranya Ponvannan, in a change from her usual docile mother stereotype, is good, while Yogi Babu, the comedian, lightens up the screen as a man smitten by the heroine. Motta Rajendran, the other comedian, is predictable and in-your-face. The films works largely because of Anirudh’s jazzy music and background score, which fits into the plot, along with the camera work of Sivakumar Vijayan.  

There are Breaking Bad influences throughout the film. The drawbacks are there in plenty.  After a racy first half, the pace slackens in the second half, along with some logical loopholes in the plot. However, at the end of the day, it is a Nayanthara show and she shines bright once again.

Updated Date: Aug 18, 2018 09:50 AM