Ideological clash between good and evil; and the ultimate victory of goodness over the negative mindset through the help of love is ultimately what Manirathnam is trying to convey through his new venture “Kadal”.  Unfortunately the uneven pitching of emotional drama and the lack of required intensity makes the movie an easily predictable movie with less charm on content. What scores the most for this Manirathnam movie is its very technical backup and the mesmerizing music of the Madras Mozart.

The movie is basically the ideological clash between two people who were in the seminary on their course to become a priest. Because of the dark life experiences one (Berchmans) opted to go for the path of evil and the other(Sam) who was born rich chose the path to God. Year’s later father Sam comes to a seaside place where the church wasn’t functioning properly and he decides to take care of the situation. With his efforts he was able to influence the people who were not interested in the religious matters. In the mean time he helps an orphan boy (Thomas). After many years Berchmans comes back to meet Sam, and the boy eventually becomes the key player in the game between Sam and Berchmans. How this battle ends and how the entry of a girl in Thomas’s life helps the entire plot in finding a solution is basically the soul of Kadal.

The plot isn’t that complicated, but it’s the script that lacks emotional intensity at crucial occasions causing the problem here. Manirathnam nicely builds the angry young boy who is frustrated of being considered as a bastard. But the portion where the boy goes back to his sins the required intensity is missing and personally I couldn’t visualize him as a brutal criminal. The link of the female protagonist to the antagonist also didn’t make the required curiosity or impact. And the spark of the romance also needed something more special.

Technically, direction wise I can’t find many flaws in the very less compromised making of Mr Manirathnam. The story as I said earlier lacks dramatic intensity in pivotal places. Dialogs are smart and sensible. Cinematography of Rajiv Menon is really super cool and the cuts are also fine. Special applauds to the VFX team who made the climax fight in the sea look absolutely stunning. It almost reminded me the standard of Life of Pi VFX. Art direction was also quite impressive. Music without any doubt is mesmerizing from ARR.

On screen, the casting is spot on in my view. Arjun as the antagonist has done the part quite smoothly and the character demanded a little bit more than his normal heroism. Arvind Swamy is very much apt to play the role of the priest and it is quite easy for us to conceive the character. Debutant Gautham is indeed a talent. Even though the face looks dull the character was conceived quite emotionally by him.  Thulsi Nair was also satisfying as Beatrice.

So the final product from the ace film maker is an average one. If you love to analyze the technical aspects of film making such as cinematography, vfx, art etc, the film offers you very much to cherish. But the content does not have that fragrance to haunt you. I am giving it a 2.5/5 and thumbs up to the cinematographer, music director, art director and the VFX team.

Final Thoughts


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.

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