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Kaathal – The Core, directed by Jeo Baby, is a poignant Malayalam Good Drama that explores the complex themes of identity, and societal norms. Headlined by seasoned actors Mammootty and Jyothika, the film chronicles the marital tensions between a closeted  man and his wife, who seeks divorce after enduring an unfulfilling marriage for years.

kaathal the core story
kaathal the core story

As their legal battle unfolds, darker family secrets rise to the surface, reconciliations occur, and the characters embark on journeys of self-acceptance. With sensitive writing and nuanced performances, Kaathal presents a moving narrative about shedding internalized shame and embracing one’s authentic self. The movie had a good storyline like Christopher and therefore, it worth a watch.

Actors in Kaathal – The Core

Kaathal – The Core features a talented ensemble cast that delivers subtle and affecting performances, led by seasoned actors Mammootty and Jyothika as the central conflicted husband and wife. Supporting them in pivotal roles is a venerable roster of acclaimed Dravidian cinema veterans and promising emerging talents.

Main roles

Mammootty plays Mathew Devassy, a closeted gay man struggling to reconcile his with societal expectations. Though living seemingly contentedly with his wife and family, Mathew grapples internally with keeping up a straight façade. When Omana confronts him and seeks divorce, suppressed truths pour out as Mathew’s double life unravels. Mammootty conveys his character’s quiet torment with admirable sensitivity.

kaathal the core collection
kaathal the core collection

Jyothika portrays Omana Philip Mathew, Mathew’s wife seeking legal separation after two fruitless decades of marriage. A nurturing mother frustrated by her passionless relationship, Omana catalyzes the film’s conflict by filing for divorce. Jyothika essays Omana’s complexity, hurt and agency with grace.

Supporting Cast

Beyond its principal cast, Kaathal and Annapoorani features strong supporting performances from revered Dravidian character actors like R.S. Panicker and Joji John, who offer endearing and textured turns as Mathew’s concerned father Devassy and Omana’s distraught brother Tomy. Crucial to the plot are two promising emerging talents – Anagha Maya Ravi who plays the Devassys’ daughter Fenny, attempting to make sense of her parents’ split, and Sudhi Kozhikode as Mathew’s longtime friend Thankan who secretly grapples with Issues of identity and societal double standards.

Story of the movie Kaathal – The Core

Respected bank manager Mathew Devassy seems to lead an ideal life with his family in their village – beloved wife Omana, teenage daughter Fenny and elderly father Devassy. But when Mathew decides to run in local elections, Omana shocks him by revealing she filed for divorce two months prior.

kaathal the core movie
kaathal the core movie

Their case proceeds to a speedy trial where Omana alleges Mathew failed to fulfill her and marital desires in their 20-year marriage. Questioned on how many times they had intercourse, she says only four. As proceedings continue, the reality of Mathew’s closeted surfaces through wrenching revelations and testimonies.

During cross-examination by Omana’s lawyer, Mathew first denies allegations of an affair with his friend Thankan. But Thankan later affirms their relationship, disclosing his own struggles as a gay man running an auto school frequented only by women to keep up appearances.

Revelations Emerge

Some of the most painful revelations in Kaathal emerge when Mathew’s elderly father Devassy takes the stand, confirming that Mathew battled issues surrounding his since childhood. In wrenching testimony, Devassy discloses to the courtroom that intense familial and societal pressures to conform to traditional mores resulted in Mathew entering an arranged marriage to Omana – a fateful decision orchestrated by Devassy himself to suppress his son’s orientation.

That night, behind closed doors, a distraught Devassy emotionally apologizes to his son Mathew through tears for the personal suffering imposed upon him over the decades – blaming his own inability to buck cultural orthodoxy for forcing Mathew as a young man to internalize his identity as shameful, marrying a woman under false pretenses.

kaathal the core review
kaathal the core review

Mathew reciprocates the gesture by apologizing to wife Omana for hiding the truth for so long purely out of his own deep-set fears of judgement and stigma if his were revealed. Omana responds with empathy and discloses that she initiated divorce proceedings as an act of compassion – an attempt to bring suppressed truths to light and mutually liberate both from continuing to silently uphold lies that constrained their Shot at authentic lives. This sequence marks the film’s emotional crux – the first step for its central characters out of the shadows and towards self-revelation and honesty both internally and externally.


The next day while signing divorce papers, Mathew publicly comes out, supported by his family. Liberated to express his authentic self, he proceeds campaigning for office as an openly gay man. In the closing scene set after Mathew’s election victory, he warmly helps Omana meet a potential new partner, with Thankan embracing his role as Mathew’s boyfriend.

Development of Kaathal – The Core

Kaathal – The Core has been gestating since August 2022 when director Jeo Baby first mulled helming a film starring Mammootty and Jyothika. Though Baby initially denied rumors, pre-production began soon after with Mammootty Kampany producing.

Jyothika’s casting marked her return to Malayalam cinema following a 12-year absence. Mammootty suggested Jyothika play the wife’s role opposite his character. The film represents Jeo Baby’s first project not based on his original idea. But the story by writers Sukumaran and Skaria resonated, convincing him to approach Mammootty.

Shooting started October 2022 and concluded swiftly within a month with Baby retaining his trusted creative team. Kaathal premiered at IFFI 2023 to positive reviews, especially for its sensitive treatment of and identity. With its compassionate lens trained on closeted queer lives, the film marks a milestone in Indian cultural discourse on issues.

kaathal the core download
kaathal the core download

Kaathal – The Core brings nuance, empathy and humanity to its portrait of a gay man navigating self-repression. Carried by Mammootty and Jyothika’s moving performances, Jeo Baby’s latest continues his cinema’s progressive social commentary by examining complex relationships with wisdom and heart.

While a culture of silence and shame still surrounds queer identities in India, Kaathal holds up the radical power of living freely as one’s true self. By confronting internalized stigma and external judgement with steadfast courage, Mathew’s journey illustrates the liberating force of self-acceptance – a message that resonates as universal. Above all, Kaathal is a testament to the healing force of empathy, depicting its characters not as heroes or villains, but fallible people yearning to give and receive love.

Movie Info:

Mammootty Kampany
Available in
23 November 2023
Quality option
1080p | 720p
Jeo Baby
Main Stars
Mammootty, Jyotika, Anagha Akku, Alex Alister, Adarsh Sukumaran

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