‘Kurup’ Summary & Review: An Arresting Watch


‘Kurup’ is a film loosely based on the life of the popular Indian fugitive and most-wanted criminal, Sukumara Kurup. The film takes the liberty to add more drama to the already infamous story. The film shifts from one time frame to another, from the 60s to the 70s, 80s to the 90s, and even the 00s. Tactfully using popular references from the decades to re-create the past, such as ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ (Don) playing at a local bar on television with glimpses of Helen and Amitabh Bachchan shown in between. It is not just the time frame that shifts but also locations, from Kerala, Mumbai, Ahmedabad to Dubai. ‘Kurup’ experiments with a known story but manages to keep the audience hooked with one revelation after another.

‘Kurup’ Plot Summary

The story of Kurup starts unraveling when a police officer finds a diary that contains pictures and notes from the infamous case. While the retirement of DYSP Krishna Das takes place in the background, the police officer reads the story of the criminal mastermind. Once an Air Force Officer, Kurup, who was then known as Gopi Krishnan, was mostly late for police drills and wanted to do more with his life than just perform the duties of an officer. After his transfer to Mumbai, he took a month-long sick leave and went home – it was later found that he had committed suicide. This was when Gopi Krishnan became Sudhakara Kurup and started his life afresh in Persia/Iran.

The film chooses to weave the narrative from the perspective of what the police learned from their associates. Kurup came under the radar of the police after planning a murder of a man who looked like him, as a way to claim his life insurance. The police discovered several pieces of evidence to prove that the death of ‘Charlie’ was not an accident, but a murder. While the audience is left to guess what might truly be the motive of Kurup and what exactly he did after changing his identity, the police got hold of his associates. What followed was a chase between Krishna Das and Kurup, as the police reached every location they were informed about.

When the film reaches half of its runtime, the perspective changes from the police to Kurup and he narrates his story. This is when a number of truths are revealed, especially the most important question – what exactly did Kurup do in Persia? The journey of Kurup from illegally selling alcohol from the Air Force canteen to entering arms deals with popular gangsters is traced. He deals with the police with extreme intelligence and ultimately becomes untraceable.

The Review

Dulquer Salmaan brilliantly portrays the character of Kurup by not just attaining a similar appearance but also embodying the cunningness of the man in question. During the chase with the police, he constantly changed his appearance and came in close contact with the authorities several times. While the tale of Kurup is well-known among the public, Dulquer Salmaan managed to keep the character interesting to watch with the layers of deceits and lies. Indrajith Sukumaran is convincing as the sharp police officer, Krishna Das, for whom this case remained the most memorable one in his lifetime. The tracing of the criminal took several interesting turns with the police taking charge in a number of instances. Sobita Dhulipala, popular for her role in the series ‘Made in Heaven’, plays the role of the loving wife of Kurup. The film directed by Srinath Rajendran lags towards the end, with the long chase and numerous escapes. The film is well shot, keeping in mind the varied locations and decades. The music produced by Sushin Shyam is worth a mention, with the audio track hitting the right cord each time. 

Will There Be A ‘Kurup’ Sequel: Alexander?

The film takes only a part of the true crime story and builds several fictitious plots to make the narrative all the more gripping. Kurup in real life remains untraceable, but the film takes a different route. ‘Kurup’ showed how the police were aware of his location and instead of legally charging him, they chose to surrender Kurup to his boss, whom he betrayed, for much more severe punishment. Though in the epilogue, it is indicated that Kurup was aware of such a possibility and managed to murder his boss with the help of his gangster friends.

He is later introduced as Alexander Gotmoshy, another identity that Kurup takes upon to continue with his criminal activities. Alexander is spotted in Helsinki where a photographer takes his pictures for intelligence but is shot dead. This revelation clearly indicates that a sequel film is on its way, which will further explore his criminal activities and his life after escaping the Indian police. While we are sure that Kurup aka Alexander will be back, who will chase him for the sequel remains in suspense.  

Kurup is a 2021 Indian Biopic Crime Thriller film directed by Srinath Rajendran. It is streaming on Netflix.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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