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Kutty Srank: The Sailor of Hearts (2009)

Kutty Srank is a short-tempered, lonely, but law-abiding boatman whose work leads him to travel the back waters of Kerala. One day, when the local police station discovers an unidentified ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kutty Srank
Meena Kumari Perera ...
Fr. Yonus
Paskal (as P. Sreekumar)
Satheesh Chandra ...
Loni Ashan
Jathitha ...
Amit ...
Maya Vishwanath ...
M.B. Padmakumar ...
Neelan (as Padmakumar)
Gaurav Moudgill ...
M.A. Balachandran ...


Kutty Srank is a short-tempered, lonely, but law-abiding boatman whose work leads him to travel the back waters of Kerala. One day, when the local police station discovers an unidentified body washed ashore, three women come forward claiming it to be the dead body of Kutty Srank. Each of the three women - a rich women aspiring to be a Buddhist nun, a convict, and a mute - all claim to be Kutty Srank's wife. Kutty Srank ultimately leaves behind a story of a man who convinced three very different women he was a committed and faithful husband while successfully keeping his other two lives a secret. Written by DDA PR

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31 October 2009 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

A master piece!
14 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Kutty Srank in the truest spirit of the word was 'a novel' experience for me. It is a layered master-piece, and put forwards a non-linear narrative style very rarely (if not never before) used in world cinema.

Film is structurally divided into four different setting, three of which is set in north, mid and south Kerala respectively and the fourth one is a hyper-link section set in a Police station, where the dead body of Kutty Srank is kept for identification. Three different women (Revamma, Pemenna and Kali) come forward claiming the body and each protagonist has a different story to tell.

The real genius in this film is in creating a false illusion that there is both a spatial and temporal link between these three stories, but later deconstructing this argument by specifically placed non-plausible circumstances. In short, though each of the stories is thematically linked, there is enough clues to believe that they stand separate in time and continuity.

There is a scene in the movie when a Feudal landlord Unnithan (played by Sai Kumar) converges very quickly on the literal interpretation that Kali is route cause of the evils that has befallen in his land. This scene was revelatory to me and summarizes one of the basic premise the film discusses, stories of classic human weakness of finding patterns (and meaning) from loosely correlated sources , especially if it is a one which fits the narrative adhering to his/her personal believes. Something that is quite relevant in current times, when we are bombarded with information (and information providers can manipulate the popular narrative according to their whims and fancy due to people's low attention span).

What was more impressive (personally for me), was that the scene was quite self-revelatory. During my first viewing of the movie, being a 21st century netizen corrupted by information overload, I was busy making associations and correlations with my prior template notions (Roshomon, Marquez, need of fourth female character etc. to name a few). It was a subtle nudge and reminder that I am not far removed to Unnithan character, and share instances where there is dirth of honest direct perspective and understanding, and associative template-based thinking takes precedence.

The movie for me still remains a labyrinth, and required multiple viewing from my part to have a decent grasp of the proceedings, with each session bringing in something new. That said, locally (i.e per scene and theme) the movie is easy to watch and comprehend. Narration is straight forward and non-convoluted. However, it is when you sit back and try to connect the dots, the real potential and energy in this film explodes! Peripherally, there are only a few instances (or interfaces) when there is a conflict with our conventional notions with what is presented in the screen (for example, Kali denying it is the body of Srank, Srank's bodily appearance etc. ). A challenge is put forward, to use these leads and work backwards to unlock the underlying story within the movie, and thereby making the process of movie watching highly interactive and rewarding!

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