The story of Sukumar Kurup, one of the most wanted Indian fugitives who faked his death by taking his life insurance doppelganger, is one of the worst crime stories ever to take place in India. The fact that he managed to solve the crime and has not been caught to date makes this story all the more exciting. Dulker SalmanA gripping crime drama, Kurup tries to tell the story of an infamous, elusive criminal as realistically as possible, while taking some cinematic liberties. For more than three decades, Kurup has managed to make an impression, especially by recreating the mood of the time.
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Kurup opens in 2005 at the retirement ceremony of Deputy Police Superintendent Krishnadas (Indrajit Sukumaran). When Krishnadas is cleaning his office, his subordinate stumbles upon a diary named Kurup, and through it we meet Gopi Krishna, also known as G.K. (Dulkar Salman) who later becomes Sudhakara Kurup. GK is presented as a wayward youth who has always lived his life. He enters the Indian Air Force after his parents and uncle think this is the perfect place to discipline him. GK is the guy who always has a cunning up his sleeve. He knows ways to make a few dollars quickly and soon turns into an expat and then a fugitive. G.K. continues to recognize Sudhakar Kurup, and the rest of the story is about how he tricked the entire Kerala police department and led them on an endless hunt for his whereabouts.
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It is gratifying to know that Srinath Rajendran is not trying to humanize this story of a fugitive who almost became a heroic figure among the people. The film introduces Kurup with all his flaws and allows us to see him as a person without any ethics. As the central character, Dulkare Salman plays Kurupa with unrivaled success and ease. Much of the first half goes into character creation, and luckily there is no explanation as to what made Kurup so flawed. The film does take the mainstream path to showcase Kurup’s character in a somewhat stylish way, and it’s understandable that these things are essential when it comes to commercial cinema. Fortunately, this is not overdoing it. Reenacting the historical part – 70s, 80s and 90s – is great for storytelling and creating the mood of the film. The narration is also greatly uplifted by Sushin Shyam’s brilliant score.
Kurup sometimes seems drawn out, but the uncertainty behind the hunt makes the film pretty much gripping. Indrajit Sukumaran aptly cast as a police investigator, and as much as you feel that his characters are not getting their due, in the end it is perfectly justified.