King of Kotha – Abhilash Joshiy’s gangster film starring Dulquer Salmaan starts of a high note with Dulquer looking dashing in his rugged, intense avtar. His passionate portrayal of Raju – the King of Kotha salvages the action drama steeped in clichés and weak climax
By Rajeshwari Kalyanam
Shahul Hassan is a reputed policeman who enters Kotha, a town infested with drug mafia, controlled by one ruthless man – Kanna Bhai, he faces only insult when he tries to control Kanna, which is when he devises a plan to take revenge on Kanna and clean the town off the mafia.
The policeman brings back the original King of Kotha, who he pits against Kanna. The plan is to make both groups fight and kill each other. Raju, who once ruled Kotha, keeps it away from drugs only because the girl he loved Tara (Aishwarya), wants it that way. Like Robinhood, he takes money from the rich and helps the poor. Along with Kanna, his best friend, and other gang members, they play football and enjoy life. And even though Kanna points out that dealing in Gaanja (weed) would help them make money, Raju believes in living for the moment and not in accruing money. Their common enemy is Ranjeet, who hates Raju’s guts and waits for the right moment to take back the control of Kotha. Raju’s father and mother stay away from him, even though his kid sister loves him.
Raju’s life takes a turn when he realises Tara’s affection is a put on, and the fact is that she fears him. He is depressed with life, and his mother tells him to leave Kotha to enable them to lead a peaceful life. He leaves Kotha to live in Uttar Pradesh (may be a decision inspired by the intention of relating to the Pan India audience). Kotha gets a new king Kanna, and his reign of terror and murder, along with his beau, Manju. The lady in question is first seen- in the item number that usually happens during the beginning of such a film, and later is seen alongside Ranjeet – and Kanna is head over heels in love with her and kills Ranjeet for her.
The rest of the film is about how a telegram from the policeman makes Raju come back after several years, and he is not just Raju – but the much feared Raju Madrasi (wait for the cringy dialogue when Dulquer announces himself during a fight sequence). And then there is also the usual father, mother, and sister sentiment, plus a couple of people from the hero’s side dying, adding to the revenge equation.
King of Kotha is the latest contribution to the routine mass action film formula, this time from the Malayalam Film Industry, which, otherwise, has been gaining immense popularity for offering innovation and craft, film after film.
The film attempts to go the Gangs of Wasseypur way but falters at many places. What the film lacks in originality and slick screenplay is made up for with Dulquer’s attitude, the overall vibe, and technical quality of the film. For Dulquer, this is definitely a good addition to his filmography dominated by lover boy roles.