Directed by Rajeev Ravi, “Kuttavum Shikshayum” is a slow-paced Malayalam film that revolves around a gold robbery that takes place in Idukki district, Kerala. The film depicts a gold robbery that had taken place in Kasargod, and Sibi Thomas, Circle Investigator, was a part of the investigation team. Due to its lack of exaggerated action or drama, in the end, the film might not appeal to some. Though the lack of it intrigued me, especially because of how contradictory it is to the genre of police action/drama. Police investigations are far from what is portrayed, and “Kuttavum Shikshayum” focuses on the drudgery that the work involves. There is an eerie feeling that creeps at the moment Kerala Police enter North India, and the visuals are top-notch in the second half. The background score, along with the dusty, empty roads and villages, evokes Western sentiment.
‘Kuttavum Shikshayum’ Plot Summary: What The Film Is About?
At midnight a group of five robbers conducts a heist at a gold jewelry store in the Idukki district of Kerala. The next morning, the police are informed, and an investigation headed by Sajan Phillip is conducted. What seemed doubtful was the inoperative CCTV cameras. Sajan wondered if this was an attempt to claim insurance money. His colleague dismissed the idea since it was a reputed jewelry store and the owner was the secretary of the district association; therefore, it seemed unlikely that they would take such a step. The owner’s son, Rahul, doubted the ex-employee. He believed that Aravindan might have conducted the robbery to get back at the owner. But upon questioning Aravindan, the police realized that the man had a past conflict with the owner that resulted in their blaming him. Therefore, this lead became useless as well. The forensic team studied the fingerprints and determined that those who robbed the store were new and not anyone from their database.
The details of the migrant workers who went home right after the incident were collected by the police. According to the data maintained by the agent, four workers left the state. Meanwhile, the police also studied the CCTV footage from the nearby area, where they noticed a van that seemed out of place. The number was noted and, after further questioning, they learned that the car belonged to a loaner named Mookkhan, who had lent the car to a few “Hindi” men. The North Indian men used to sell ready-made garments, and Mookkhan had leased the car to them. They were perceived as a decent family who used to pay rent at the right time. After discussing the incident with Mookkhan, he introduced the police to the landlord of the apartment in which they stayed. Paily gave the police copies of their identity cards and the keys to the apartment. After searching the area, the police found traces of the jewelry store seal. Sajan informed the S.P. that it was a five-member gang that belonged to the Dhanaganj area of Dholpur district around the Rajasthan-UP border. They stayed in the rented apartment for four months. Their identity cards and names were all false. The team also had a woman who was the homemaker and helped in portraying the image of a regular family. The police identified their location after studying the location of the contacts who stayed in touch with them when they were in Kerala. The S.P. ordered Sajan to travel to the area with his team and get hold of the perpetrators.
The jewelry store was lucky to have been spared from a major crisis since the robbers were unable to open the central locker, which consisted of 15 kilograms of gold. They stole close to about 2 kg of gold, but the police were pressured to find the robbers since the owner held an influential post at the local association. Therefore, an interstate search was required, though infiltrating an unknown territory was complicated.
What Was Sajan Philip’s Past?
At the center of this drama is Circle Investigator, Sajan Phillip, who suffers from the trauma of shooting a civilian. When a group of protestors started pelting stones at the police, Sajan shot a young boy in his chest. While his colleagues and seniors saved him from prosecution, he could not forgive himself for what he had done. This incident kept him up at night. He questioned himself several times to find an answer to his irrational action, but he could never justify it. This case, in the end, gives him a second chance to think his action through, even if that means letting go of a suspect. The Circle Investigator had an immense weight on his shoulder when he realized that they had to travel to North India to bring back the suspects to Kerala. The village was known for violence, and Sajan Phillip and his team had to get into the village and bring back the suspects without harming anyone or instigating the villagers.
A story centered around a character such as Sajan Phillip helped in building a sense of uncertainty and anxiety since the audience knows his past. He is in charge of the team, but he doubts his past actions every second, and that adds to the tension of what might ultimately unfold.
‘Kuttavum Shikshayum’ Ending Explained: Did The Kerala Police Get Hold Of The Robbers?
The team consisted of CI Sajan Phillip, Senior C.P.O. Rajesh Matthew, S.I Basheer, C.P.O. Abin, and S.I Rajeevan. From the moment the police traveled to Dholapur, there was a certain strangeness that they could feel. As soon as they parked their car for a tea break, a random man started to look inside the car and create suspicion. The Kerala Police were outsiders, and the people around them made them feel uninvited. The S.P. at Dholapur agreed to help the team, but they warned them that the village was prone to violence. Eleven years ago, there was a conflict between the policemen and villagers that ultimately led to deaths, after which the police maintained their distance from the village. Even though Dhanaganj was under their jurisdiction, the police chose to not intervene, and the village functioned autonomously.
Manoj, a policeman at Dhanaganj police station, agreed to help them, though, for smooth functioning, the Kerala police had to slip in some extra money. With the help of a villager, the suspects were identified as Yadram, who did not stay in the village and might have been involved in robbery or dacoity; Sandhu and Sukhram, Yadram’s relatives; and Netram, involved in illicit alcohol business with Bajrangi. Manoj contacted Bajrangi, and that helped in bringing in Netram. Netram was unofficially arrested by the police, though he shared very little information with them.
The police entered Dhanaganj village, which was barricaded to keep away outsiders. Soon after entering, they found a group of women gathering and gradually closing in on them. Noticing the shift in the atmosphere, the police left the village. Netram’s family members were searching for him and sought help from the police. Meanwhile, one night when the police planned to raid the village, Netram managed to escape from the police station through the bathroom.
The Kerala police, with the help of the Dholapur police, finally entered the village the next night and grabbed hold of every man who lived there. The women were furious and attempted to attack the police. Sajan noticed Netram escaping. He pointed his gun at him, but Netram fled away. Sajan chose to not shoot. His traumatizing past stopped him from taking another drastic measure. After leaving the village, the police identified the suspects and allowed the rest to leave. The men were taken away to Kerala, while the villagers gathered in front of the hotel where the police were staying. After a few months, Basheer received a call stating that the men they had arrested were granted bail after the gang they were involved with helped them out. In the end, the police continued with their usual job, and this time they followed another suspect.
Even after the elaborate cat and mouse chase, the suspects were free. The police knew that once they were granted bail, it would be impossible to trace them back. But, then again, their job ended with the arrest, and even though it seemed unfair considering the amount of effort and life risk, it was how the system functioned. The men had to continue with their jobs and risk their lives over and over again regardless of the outcome. Basheer had mentioned an interesting way of dealing with the job. He discussed how he tried to make as few enemies as possible since, after retirement, he could not risk having them come back to seek revenge from him. “Kuttavum Shikshayum” strips away the garb of heroism that is usually associated with the police to reveal the reality. After he shot a civilian, Sajan wondered who gave him the authority to shoot a civilian. He was just a policeman doing his duty, but that did not imply that he could take one’s life who dared to throw a stone at the authorities. It was perhaps the ego and the anger he felt that resulted in him choosing to not shoot the boy in the leg but rather the chest. “Kuttavum Shikshayum” does not delve deep into the incident; it chooses to not comment on it and leaves much of it to the audience to sit back and ponder. While the choice of subtlety might enrage some viewers, it can be gratifying for others.
Throughout the film, we never get to know the suspect or even take a close look at them, creating the distance that the policemen felt from the perpetrators. Also, considering the numerous thefts that occur all over the city, it makes one wonder how many faces the police even remember. These are just cases that need to be worked on and the forgotten, the names, and the identities lost in the case files. “Kuttavum Shikshayum,” in the end, mocks the audience, who might have been expecting a grand climax but are just left with no action and barely any consequences.
“Kuttavum Shikshayum” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Rajeev Ravi.