KATHAKALI – Movie Review
Pandiraj is well-known for planning his film shootings very well and Vishal is famous for his habit of launching his film’s shooting with the release date in mind, with no delay. Now, both of them have joined hands and delivered an action thriller in a very short span of time. Vishal desperately needs a hit because his last 3 films did not do so well as expected (‘Naan Sigappu Manithan’ was an average grosser, ‘Aambala’ did a below average business and ‘Paayum Puli’ was again an average grosser because of the bad release date).
‘Kathakali’ begins with the introduction of the villains Thamba (Madhusudhana Rao) and his brother-in-laws who rule their city with power and money. Their introduction scenes which shows how brutal and cruel they looked very usual with a clichéd title card which was narrated by the director himself. The first half was quite average which involved the love episode and comedy scenes primarly. The film sets in pace after the initial 45 minutes, and gained momentum towards interval. The second half was good, and the real ‘Kathakali aattam’ began thereafter which maintained the tension for an action thriller till the end credits. (Intentionally or unintentionally, the film seems to be inspired by the popular Hollywood movie ‘The Usual Suspects’ B-) )
The romance portion in the first was uninteresting, with likeable scenes here and there which had a typical ‘Loosu Tamil Ponnu’ heroine (however, her role made some impact in the script in the second half). Whereas the laughable comedies by Karunaas saved the first half mostly. Director Pandiraj is popular for the comical conversations in his films and Kathakali has such touches of him now and then (say Karuna’s dialogue at Vishal ‘ippo ethukku nee un kaallaye vizhundhu kumbittukura’ when he boasts of himself); there are scenes referring Singer Kalpana akkaa too 😛
The film runs for just 2 hours and it is engaging for its whole run-time. There are only 2 songs in the film, out of which the intro song about friendship looked unnecessary; that song would not have been a problem, may be if the tune was catchy. Both the songs were average only, but ‘Hip Hop’ Aadhi had given his best for the background score. The ‘Whistle theme’ elevated the seriousness of the film’s mood and the power of the action scenes a step ahead. Though the background score was repetitive in some scenes, it is sure that you will start whistling the theme eventually while you leave the theater. (y) Balasubramaniem’s beautiful frame and shot compositions helped increasing the intensity of this action thriller which had too many scenes shot in the interiors of Kadalur town and Chennai city. Pradeep’s editing has contributed a lot for the film’s racy pace.
Vishal in the lead role has done a commendable job and he was looking so cool and charming; this type of tension-filled action thrillers has become his signature style and he does it like a cake walk. Catherine Tresa looks gorgeous and she comes in a small yet significant role. Madhusudhanan does the role of the majestic ‘Thambu’ with so much of ease; thanks to Samuthirakani who lended his voice for him (once again after GOLI SODA). All other supporting actors including Mime Gopi, Karunaas, Sreejith Ravi, Lakshmi Ramakrishnan, Pawan and Jayaprakash (Cameo) have done justice to their roles.
Verdict: A decent, simple action thriller that will not disappoint you. Worth a watch!
Rating – 3/5
GETHU – Movie Review
After the average grosser ITHU KATHIRVELAN KATHAL and the disastric NANBENDAA, Udhayanithi is back with his first ever action film – ‘GETHU’. This film is definitely a different film in his career, since it does not have Santhanam or does not fall under the genre ‘Comedy’. Director Thirukumaran is back with his second outing after Siva Karthikeyan’s MAAN KARATE which was not disappointing to a great extent.
After watching the impressive trailer of the film which promised to be a slick, stylish action thriller, we get into the theater with same expectations. But, what the team has delivered is a routine product with glossy stuffs and very less of content.
Director Thirukumaran has tried to help Udhayanithi in boosting his career, on his first ever action script; but, he could have tried it with better writing. He was successful in accomplishing it, only to a minimal extent. He had to compromise on so many things such as a doll-like heroine who has got an age-old love track and 3 songs which comes out of nowhere (misplaced average songs!); all these compromises in a film that runs for less than 2 hours. This script has got a great idea for a good thriller; it is an intersection of two characters and two ideas. A sniper who is into an assassination task and an obedient son who tries to save his father’s life. But, the weak screenplay and execution has made it a very average product.
The director has tried to be honest to his script at places, but that fails in consistency due to a flat screenplay that does not have any twists or turns needed for a thriller. The first half moves with boring, usual scenes; when we get to see something interesting, we are asked to leave for an interval break so soon 😮 Even in the second half, we do not have any tension over the risky mission of the hero who tries to save his father from a trap. Few twists are unexciting and some pivotal scenes are predictable, since the audience are very much ahead of the director’s narration. The saving grace of the movie is Sugumar’s cinematography, Harris’s background score (which was occasionally good), the mid of second half and the action blocks (except the tiring climax fight).
We see Sathyaraj’s name coming ahead of Udhayanithi’s in the title cards; its not just a gesture towards the actor but his role has great importance in the movie. Sathyaraj has just nailed it as the father of the protagonist, especially in the scene where he speaks to the Wine shop owner in his school. It is evident that Udhayanithi is improving a lot film by film; his dance movements and fight scenes says that. Still, he needs to practice a lot to emote in the right way in scenes which has crucial importance. The much hyped sniper role of Vikranth had nothing much to appreciate; his character was supposed to be ‘Speaks less, does much’ type, but it was ‘speaks less, does very less’.
Verdict: GETHU fails to be an interesting thriller due to its weak screenplay and execution.
Rating – 2.5/5
P.S: Both these films have an accidental similarity that both are action thrillers in which the hero tries to save his family from a trap! 😉 B-)
Review by: Rahman
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