Before even I start writing about this film, I would like to enlighten everyone that this is a rom-com movie with a lot of adult comedies. The director seems to be very clear about his genre and for whom he has made it; the promos also says that very evidently. So, please don’t watch it with your 12 years old kid or 60 years old mother and whine about it later. Now, let’s talk about how good is this ‘romantic comedy’.
The teasers and promos of ‘#Kavalai_Vendam‘ promised to be a very genuine adult comedy movie. Having seen an interesting horror comedy film from a director like Deekay, it is quite natural for us to expect something very uniquely done with this genre. The first 30 minutes of the film is very much enjoyable except for scenes like where Aravindh proposes to Divya. After that, the film fails to be consistently good primarily due to poor characterizations (in particular, the character of Divya). Whenever a filmy, unimpressive emotional scene or a not so funny comedy scene (like the one at the theatre entrance) shows up and we get pissed off, there comes a hilarious comedy scene after that which makes sure that the whole film is not a regretful watch. Yes, this is a film where you will feel irritated in a scene and you will have an enjoyably done comedy in the very next scene. That is what saves ‘Kavalai Vendam’ to a great extent, thanks to the comedian-duo RJ Balaji & Bala Saravanan and the funny one-liners (there are a number of adult jokes and dialogues that youngsters could only enjoy and others would wonder why these guys are laughing crazily). 😂
With a better writing, ‘Kavalai Vendam’ would have been the most celebrated comedy film in the recent times; but, what we get to see is a very average entertainer that could make you laugh a lot in many scenes despite its flaws. The film doesn’t have a good narration or a proper story flow, it keeps us engrossed with some good comedy scenes such as the Police station scene and the Boat scene and many other scenes that had ideas lifted / inspired from Whatsapp jokes, videos that went viral in social media and scenes from popular English romantic comedies (say the scene where Aravindh and Divya looks at a mice in a guy’s hand, the scene where Shalini wants to give Aravindh’s friend a surprise birthday celebration 😝 and the confession scene in the boat).
Where films like ‘Kavalai Vendam’ and ‘Trisha Illainnaa Nayanthara’ becomes nothing more than a routine movie is with too much of stereotyping of the characters, their alienic actions and some repetitive small-minded jokes on women. Almost every other male character in this film is an all-time alcoholic or a ‘pervert-like’ flirt (the protagonist, the protagonist’s friends, father, a doctor whom the father calls in a scene or even a pizza delivery guy or a boat driver who just comes for a single scene also falls in either of this category); that’s what I call as ‘stereotypical’ here. Even when someone like Arjun tries to be somewhat broad-minded, he is being sickly humiliated as a ‘second hand lover’. One or two romance scenes are good due to the lead pair’s on-screen chemistry, whereas most other scenes test our patience since we are unable to either empathise for the characters’ separation or rejoice for the happy ending.
Jiiva has been one of the biggest plus points of this film, delivering what the script had demanded exactly. Though his funny acts and acting in emotional scenes does remind a lot of his previous films, Jiiva does his job very convincingly on the whole. RJ Balaji is almost like the second hero of this film, where his one-liners are the biggest saving grace (say ‘Neeyum unga appanum serndhaa, Yeman kitta irundhey eruma maattai thallittu vandhuduveenga’). Despite carrying a lot of ‘Tamil cinema loosu ponnu’ characteristics, Kajal Agarwal has a lot of acting scope and she does try to justify it sincerely; this could be easily her best performance in Tamil films. Nevertheless to say, she was damn pretty in each and every scene. Sunainaa comes in meaty role, handling it subtly. She and her character deserved a little more respect; such an abrupt ending or vanishing was too bad being a pivotal character. I am still wondering, why on earth a National award winner like Bobby Simha signed such a minuscule, beaten-to-death ‘America Maappillai’ role that literally had nothing to perform at all; there are 1 or 2 scenes where he has something to speak, but that are also let down with overacting. Abinandhan Ramanujam’s wonderful cinematography that showed the best of Ooty’s beauty and Leon James’s background score are highly commendable.
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