Shikar is a film that has been downgraded to mediocre levels with a good story and thought, a flawless screenplay and reactionary ideas that overlook certain realities. The hunt is a desperate attempt to show how police officers are victims of almost every aspect of society. But it is also not completely successful.
The film manages to capture the policing system, the human policemen within it, electoral politics, vote banks, the government, the lives of individuals, all with a sense of realism. One of the plus points of the film is that it does not try to make the end of Malayalam films as it is often seen.
Police officers are being hunted throughout the film. Constant exploitation and reprimand are being carried out from the highest level DGP to the lowest level constable. They often have to cheat their comrades in the name of survival and also remain silent against the injustice that is happening against them. The film also mentions Sanjeev Bhatt, who has been in jail for two years for speaking the truth.
As Jojo George’s character in the trailer states, the central characters in the hunt are policemen who do not cite the people above. Shahi Kabir, a former policeman who wrote the screenplay for Joshi, has tried to portray the police in a more realistic way in the film.
From the day-to-day work of the police and personal life, the film clearly stems from tense jobs and tense situations, where politicians only have to become puppets. The film also has functions related to illegal arrests by the police. But he is fully with the police, and the victim is still in favor of the police. The effort to whitewash the police is swift when these scenes are presented with subtle naturalism. In addition, the helplessness of the police who are about to tell the picture causes boredom with repetition when a certain limit is reached.
The plot of the film is about three policemen who accidentally run into a problem for reasons other than their own, as seen in the trailer. Shikar is an attempt to react to social issues in a thriller story.
The most problematic part of the hunt seems to be that the film is highly hostile to Dalit organizations, their protests and laws to prevent atrocities on Dalits. From the beginning to the end, the film portrays the problem of touching the Dalits as the sword of democracy hanging over the police, politicians and the government. The whole picture ignores the social context in which Dalit men are being hunted.
The film goes on to say that the main culprits in police action are politicians and the government, and votebank politics is being done with the help of Dalits. In one case, even Jojo George’s police character claims to be Dalit, as outlined earlier ideas.
Although Kunchacko Boban’s Praveen Michael is projected as the protagonist, Maniappan and Zoyaju George, who played Maniappan, score in character and acting. Maniyappan’s story follows Shikar a little more clearly and makes the audience feel closer.
Jojo George is doing well as a regular cop. Jojo fills the film in the form of Maniappan, who instills naturalism in body language and dialogue delivery, doing it without overdoing it anywhere and then alternating between early humor and later tension and frustration.
Nimisha Sajayan’s Sunita is a very believable character building, but it is stable without character development. Although Sajanne plays his role in the most natural way this time as in the previous films, the flaws in the characterization weaken the character.
Pravin Michael of Kunchacko Boban is in the same position. A lot is happening from beginning to end, but the audience does not feel that their character has gone through a lot of ups and downs. Furthermore, while the other two are trying to overcome these shortcomings through natural acting, Kunchacko Boban is having some trouble there as well.
Jaffer Idukki, who became the Chief Minister, has done well. Zafar Idukki is as shocking as the cunning and strict Chief Minister every time he comes on screen.
Anil Nedumangad, who plays a small role in the film, will leave us out of the film for a moment and make us sad. Although there are very few dialogues, Nait reminds us that the death of that actor is a loss in Malayalam cinema.
Hunt fails to manipulate the story, which at the beginning of the film was like a tight audience to reach a tense audience.
Both songs from the film seemed to slow down the pace of hunting again. The beauty of the song ‘Appellee’ was lost when it was released by the activists before the release of the film.
Pravin Michael from Kunchacko Boban washed his ailing mother’s blouse and underwear and bought sanitary pads for Nimisha Sajayan’s character Sunita, playing without hesitation.
Attempts to portray the entire community as criminals to show police helplessness have failed halfway. At the same time, many things that put the film beyond the cinematic shortcomings of the hunt can lead to many positive and negative discussions in the coming days.