Saturday, February 02, 2013

Kadal - a review

I was forewarned before I stepped into the theatre by my favourite movie critic that kadal is not what I wanted to see.

But the tickets were booked and I was going with friends and my little princess wanted to see Elay Keechan and so we went for the movie though we ended up a few minutes late and so missed the opening scenes. Having read about it I managed to settle down but was rudely shaken up by the scenes that unfolded.

The movie is about the usual good Vs bad and the eventual triumph of good over the bad. The good is Aravind Swamy who is a priest, the bad is Arjun a seminarian who gets thrown out and chooses crime and holds a grudge against Aravind Swamy who caused him to be thrown away. Arvind Swamy dons the habit after Minsaara Kanavu and he looks good in it even now. Fr. Thomas was it then?

In the tussle between the good and the bad is a young boy a love child of a fisherman who denies him after the death of the mother. The boy is unable to overcome the loss of his mother and yearns for acceptance of his father. The priest comes to this fishing village and overcomes resistance to gain acceptance in the village. He takes the rebellious young boy under his wings and puts him on to his destiny that is a catamaran in this movie. The boy rides out to sea and his maturing into a fine young man is shown as he rides into the waves on a catamaran. These scenes are a joy to watch on the big screen.

A lot of credit must be given to Gautham Karthik for the scenes on the catamaran as it is no mean feat to ride the waves on a catamaran and actually dancing on it in tune to Elay Keechan. If you have not heard the song and the magic ARR creates, the visuals elevate it some what. You can’t help noticing that the dancers in the song are way too fair skinned among the much tanned fisherfolk.

There are some traces of the Mani Rathnam brilliance along the way but they are not enough to collectively hold our breath. The villain who is a don is introduced and though the priest saves his life he is repaid with evil and is thrown into prison. The villain then exits the scene for some time.

The girl is one of the weakest characters and in some other movies would remind you of the “dumb blonde” stereotype, but that is explained as a mental deficiency due to a traumatic event in childhood which is explained later but it just does not stick.

So the boy meets girl and some thing happens but since she is mentally deficient it is difficult to believe that it is love and the fact that the back ground music is the opening of Nenjikulle you wait with eager expectation that it could be love. A song comes but it is Adiye and was received with a thunderous applause. The song was unusually choreographed and was interesting to see.

The protégé moves from good to evil to become powerful, it is another loose end in the movie and so joins the gang of the don. The boy becomes evil and that is emphasized by some killings. More incidents unfold where the boy helps in delivering a child with the girl who is a nurse incidentally and he feels remorse. In another scene he confesses that he is evil to the girl and the girl wipes his hand clean and says do not do evil any more.

More knots are opened when the parentage of the girl is revealed and heads to the climax where the priest (not sure if he was still a priest) returns and gets accepted by the people who threw him out. The climax scenes in a boat caught in a storm are simply awesome. The climax ensures the triumph of good over evil, reformation of the bad and the eventual boy gets girl.

Oh and some where in between Nenjikulle comes as a back ground score to the boy and girl talking. It was truly disappointing.

Let me first list out the positives:
-         A Mani Rathnam creation, the effect is visible here and there
-         AR Rahman
-         Rajeev Menon
-         The return of Aravind Swamy
-         The debutant hero, Gautham Karthik
-         The beautiful locales of Manappad, some Kerala and some Andamans are a feast to the eyes

The negatives:
-         The screenplay or absence of it
-         The girl, the debutante is painful partly due to her characterization
-         The placement of songs
-         Bloopers
-         Too many loose ends and unexplained events in the movie
-         A caricature of a villain
-         Too many expletives and crude language in the initial scenes that is not child friendly

So what is the bottom line about kadal?

If you want to see kadal, drive down to the Marina it will be infinitely better. And yes, do listen to the songs of kadal as you drive…


!! Oxymoron !! said...

Very well written review. Thanks for it. I'm saving myself some bucks and will watch it on some festival when it's going to be shown on TV anyway!

Susan Deborah said...

"Listen to the Marina" was the best part!

Too much expectation causes disappointment, I reckon.

But quite a neat and succinct review.

Joy always,

Divia said...

It was really like kappi sapida varingala? atha madhiri oru padam panna varingala? antha madhiri without much ado they ve done the film.

People who worked their butts off are
ARR, Rajiv menon and of course Gautam. Definately Arjun and Arvind have done a great job, but for seasoned artists its not a big deal.

Mani sir, so much cussing in your movie i didnt expect.

Ashika but to truly enjoy the camera and music you shud see it on the big screen sadly...