Nayanthara’s Kolamavu Kokila: What Works, What Doesn’t

Directed by Nelson, the film is a refreshingly different take on women-centric films, but its plausibility goes for a toss in the second half
Nayanthara’s Kolamavu Kokila: What Works, What Doesn’t

In Tamil cinema, women-centric films are generally stuck in the horror-thriller or feminism-empowerment space. Kolamavu Kokila (CoCo) is refreshingly different in this regard. This dark comedy drama revolves around Kokila (Nayanthara) and her family, whose desperation leads them into the drug peddling world of gangsters and cops.

What Works:
  • Kudos to Nayanthara for green lighting director Nelson's film. She plays a character who serves to prove how appearances can be deceptive. She carries an innocent, frightened expression but despite her vulnerabilities, she knows what she's doing. She is the main reason why CoCo makes for an interesting watch. There are no commercial compromises with respect to her character sketch; no 'playing to her stardom' inclusions.
  • Anirudh is the lifeline and pulse of the film, thanks to his fantastic songs and background score, which elevate a few key sequences and engage the viewers. He is called the 'Rockstar' for a reason.
  • It seems as though Nelson has a taste for dark comedy, a style that won't sit well with everyone but which lends itself to some genuinely fun moments. There are quite a few wacky characters (most of whom are playing gangsters) in the cast. Nelson's pre-interval stretch is also solid.
  • Of the supporting actors, Saranya Ponvannan can play such mother roles in her sleep. It's good to see her indulge in some histrionics here. Yogi Babu is a sportive comedian who doesn't mind being the butt of jokes. His love-struck antics are what make the 'Kalyaana Vayasu' song sequence such a phenomenon. The boy playing Yogi's grocery store assistant is quite the firecracker, thanks to his sharp dialogues. Jacqueline, who plays Nayan's younger sister, makes a confident film debut; she is a fresh presence on screen.
What Doesn't 
  • In the second half, Kokila and her family embark on a seemingly dangerous assignment carrying 100 kilos of cocaine, but are able to navigate their way through cops and gangsters without breaking a sweat. The plot is much too convenient.
  • 'Naan Kadavul' Rajendran acts the way he usually does – by shouting at the top of his voice. His style is getting stale. Hareesh Peradi is another actor who is getting typecast in similar gangster roles (Vikram Vedha, Sketch and now CoCo).
  • For a girl hailing from a lower – middle class family, Nayanthara's look is extremely stylized and classy. The costume designers and makeup team could've kept her appearance more rooted and realistic.
Final Word: Kolamavu Kokila has moments where it entertains and also emotionally engages the viewer. The plausibility factor goes for a toss in the latter half of the film, but on the whole, it's a different heroine-oriented experience. 

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