After ARAVAAN, Director Vasantha Balan announced his next project titled KAAVIYA THALAIVAN in September 2012 produced by Y NOT Studios and Siddarth playing the lead role. Prithviraj Sukumaran and Nassar were signed to play pivotal roles and A.R.Rahman was confirmed as the composer in December 2012. Research work for the final script was carried out for more than a year wherein facts, references and whereabouts were collected from veteran theatre artists belonging to different theatre clubs existing in Madurai, Dindigul, Karur and Pudukottai. In June 2013, the team revealed that actresses Vedhika and Anaika Soti were also added as a part of the cast. Principal photography for the film started in early June 2013, wherein reports suggested that the film would be based on the lives of yesteryear singers K.B.Sundarambal and S.G.Kittappa. The shooting was completed in May 2014 and the songs by A.R.Rahman was released in August 2014 which opened to extremely positive reviews. With huge pre-release expectations, does ‘Kaaviya Thalaivan’ manage to live upto the expectations? Read on, to know!
‘Kaaviya Thalaivan’ revolves around the lives of the theatre artists in Pre-independent India, in South Tamilnadu. The film primarily focuses on the story of the two lead characters Kaaliyappan (Siddarth) and Gomathi Nayagam (Prithviraj), their passion for acting, the friendship between them, the love in their lives, ego and betrayal among themselves which turns their life upside down.
Vasantha Balan is back with a simple yet fresh plot set in 1920s to 1930s time period. The director must be appreciated for making such a film with so much of detailing and research regarding the sets, costumes and make-up which is seen in every single frame. Right from the initial scene where Kaliyappa and Gomathi Nayagam shares their opinion on how acting means to them, the film goes on a perfect flow.
The film has an extremely delightful first half, which would make the audience ask for more. The problem is with the second half, not just because it is slow paced but the film loses its focus in the mid second half in a few scenes and due to things like a dream sequence song which heavily disturbs the flow of narration; a tighter screenplay could have made the film much more perfect! Things which looks as great plus in the first half, turns negative due to predictability and few age-old clichés and some scenes that are not much convincing. However, Vasantha Balan has made sure that there is no overdose of melodrama anywhere, except for very few scenes which demanded it! Also, the climax is not that impactful, because of its predictability or the way it is placed (in a flashback). Did Vasantha Balan wanted such a climax only to send home the audience disturbed, adding more impact? May be, but it was not much convincing or as effective as his previous classics VEYIL or ANGAADI THERU, where the writing was much more stronger!
‘Kaaviya Thalaivan’ has a lot of intense scenes with extreme emotions including love, friendship, trust, betrayal, ego and jealousy which has worked out very well, mainly because of the excellent performances. The detailing on every other characterization is impeccable, especially the five central characters! Dialogues penned by Jayamohan are so powerful, which is even more likeable with the enthralling performance and dialogue-delivery; in fact, it is immensely pleasing listening to the beautifully written & spoken Tamil in every scene.
‘Kaaviya Thalaivan’ is completely an actors’ film, which has admirably awesome performances from the lead actors #Siddarth and #PrithviRaj; both the actors have put in their heart and soul to bring alive Kaaliappan and Gomathi Nayagam on screen; undoubtedly, this is one among the best ever performances in their career. The scene where Gomathi Nayagam and Kaliyappa rehearsals the lead role for first time, the scene where the Guru curses Kaliyappa and the later scene where Kaliyappa confronts him, the argument between Gomathi Nayagam & Vadivu and the climax are few examples. Commenting on WHO WAS THE BEST AMONG BOTH could be the most toughest thing, after watching the movie. Welcome back, Prithvi! Ways to go, Siddarth! After a very long time, Nassar has been offered a role that is really worth his acting skills, and he has utilized it to the core. Vedika has given her best for the role that has been given to her. Anaika Soti looks pretty and has done a decent job, but the initial romance scenes between her and Siddarth were so uninteresting, mainly because of Anaika’s lip sync. Those romance scenes were so conveniently written, where Siddarth gets into Zamindar’s castle just like that everyday and goes on with his love plays.
The technical brilliance in every other department including the extraordinary background score & fantastic songs from Rahman, wonderful cinematography by Neerva Shah which takes the film to much more heights, the eye-catching sets, costumes and make-up, editing on the whole takes us into the pre-independent South India for 2+ hours. With no doubt, the technical team and the casting team will bag a number of awards this year!
* Delighting 1st half
* Stellar performances from lead actors
* Cinematography & Editing
* Sets, Costumes & Make up
* Predictability & Cliches in 2nd half
VERDICT: NOT TO BE MISSED for its Stellar performances & Technical brilliance!
P.S: Not recommendable for people who watches fast paced movies only or people who don’t prefer intense subjects.
Review by: Rahman
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