The Sibi Malayil directorial itself is a stark reminder of the aftermath of the bloodshed politics in Kerala, especially in Kannur. But contrary to previous films that have dealt with the subject, the film foregoes an overall social impact and sticks to the lives of its characters that get derailed in this venge-filled, eye-for-an-eye politics that only serves the purpose of party leaders who don’t get their hands dirty. This is also what makes the movie a poignant tale as the emotional ramifications of the families of those who kill and are killed is the primary focus of the movie, which is solidly written by Hemanth Kumar.
The movie revolves around Shanu (Asif Ali), who is brought up by the communist party after he is orphaned following a political attack. His friends and fellow party members Sumesh (Roshan Mathew), Sreejith and Aji are united by the party ideals – the depth of their knowledge is deliberately left vague to show they are mere puppets in the hands of manipulative senior leader Sadanandan (Ranjith). The film isn’t a political drama per se as it focuses on the people that make up the lives of Shanu and Sumesh specifically. Shanu gets married to Hizana (Nikhila Vimal) right after he commits a crime.
Through Kotthu, director Sibi Malayil manages to capture the pain and angst of eye-for-an-eye politics. Apart from being a thought-provoking film, it is also packaged with enough tense as well as lively moments.