Imagine a Deepavali release movie that has no heroine, no dance, no song and yet so captivating; that’s Kaithi for you. I am not saying Kaithi is amazingly perfect because there are some over the top action sequences featuring Karthi that sort of does injustice to the situational thriller nature of this movie. But Lokesh Kanagaraj knows the trick. He has created moments that will pull the movie out of those typical zones to which we may try to assign the movie. The freshness is the USP of this Karthi starrer that keeps you engaged despite the screen being dark throughout the movie.
Bejoy is a special branch police officer who has just uncovered a massive drug cartel and he is really clueless on how to handle this unprecedented situation. While he was trying to create a reliable small team to execute the operation, something unexpected happens; every police officer gets drugged and became unconscious. Bejoy whose one hand was fractured was left with only one choice; un-cuff a prisoner who was there in a police jeep so that Bejoy can save all the police officers. The attempts of the drug mafia to get back that huge amount of drugs and the efforts of Bejoy to take the police officers to safety along with that stranger is the story of Kaithi.
It is so refreshing to watch a movie like Kaithi. While we encounter usual masala blockbusters that try to squeeze in a preachy theme in the middle of 5 stunts and 4 songs, here is a movie that is not trying to do most of those things. The only complaint I have against Kaithi is that it could have reduced the heroism in the fights slightly to give it more of a rough texture. I think director Lokesh Kanagaraj is also aware of that fact. There is a scene where all the goons fall on top of Karthi’s Dilli and in my mind, I was constantly praying please don’t do that “Anniyan” thing of the hero unleashing his true power and the goons flying in different directions. And to my surprise, Lokesh keeps it grounded and you get to see a stunt move that is different and something more inclined towards the practical side. The other thing I loved about the movie was how effectively it made George Maryan a hero-like character. The frame where a fragile yet confident Napoleon stood with a knife to face the gangsters who have all sorts of equipment is the best frame I saw today and the entire audience erupted with applauds for that visual.
In a recent interview with Baradwaj Rangan, when asked about his next project with Vijay, Lokesh Kanagaraj only said that it will be a new kind of Vijay movie. Kaithi somewhere gives you a feeling that this guy can achieve that. As I said, there is no flashback visual or dance or song here. He sort of trusts his actors completely in emotional sequences. When Karthi talks about what happened in his life in the past, the camera simply focuses his face and asks the audience to look into his eyes to feel the pain. I hope some of you may have seen that poster where Karthi is holding that Rambo style machine gun and the way Lokesh plugs that insanely badass moment into the movie was also quite exciting. Sathyan Sooryan’s cinematography needs to be appreciated because he has really done a fabulous job in making things visible even though the impression one gets to feel is that there is absolutely no light. Sam CS once again intensifies the moments with his background score. Philomin Raj’s cuts are nice, but somewhere the visuals of some of the stunt scenes looked a bit chaotic.
Karthi as Dilli is more like an underplayed version of most of his rough characters. The pitch never goes to a high tone and that was interesting to see. The way he transitions from that rough man to a vulnerable father was also lovely to see. Narain plays the role of Bejoy and the hesitant nature of the character sort of fits the actor. The next big name I would like to appreciate is George Maryan. He as Napoleon will be unforgettable for almost everyone. There are two parallel tracks happening in the movie and George Maryan is pretty much the captain of the ship of the second track. Actor Dheena was hilarious as Kamatchi.
The freshness of the plot is indeed the most exciting factor about Kaithi. Kaithi is a good example of how one can develop a slim idea into a better engrossing film rather than making it a stretched out chaos. This Lokesh Kanagaraj action thriller is a genuinely exciting film that manages to blur the classification between a popular cinema and a niche one. The movie ends with a scope for a sequel or prequel; I really hope it will get a green signal. And please make sure you watch this film from a theatre with good picture quality.
This Lokesh Kanagaraj action thriller is a genuinely exciting film that manages to blur the classification between a popular cinema and a niche one.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended