Kathakali is an attempt to cater the typical Tamil mass masala formula of the common man becoming a revenge thirsty superman by having a slightly different treatment. Pandiraj’s effort to make this sort of action genre that adapts style from movies like Madras and Vishal’s own Pandiya Naadu to keep the tension in the real zone, fumbles considerably towards the end when it becomes too heroic with predictability. Looking at the treatment which isn’t desperate to be a port boiler, for duration of 125 minutes Kathakali is a watchable movie.
Amudhan is an NRI who has returned to India for his marriage. The past of Amudhan and family had a bad episode with a local gang leader/ fishermen head. That guy’s murder after Amudhan’s return to homeland puts him under suspicion and the movie basically talks about Amudhan’s struggle to find out the real culprits and prove his innocence.
As mentioned in the beginning, for a larger part of the tension building process Pandiraj uses that method we have seen in films like Pandiya naadu so that we could feel the helplessness and desperation of the hero and family. Even though it isn’t that commercially appealing at those points, the atypical treatment creates a good impression. But towards the last quarter of the movie, the screenplay goes for the superman stuff and thus becomes too easy to guess and with all that selfie stuff and last minute twist I felt disappointed because of the lack of creativity in creating a worthy climax.
Pandiraj has the writing credit of movies like Goli Soda which according to me was a great example on how to create thrillers with mass appeal from sensible backdrops. Here also he tries to put the characters and conflicts in the sensible zone. But there is a bit of haste in narration and in creating scenes which makes it a bit awkward. The whole buildup of a love story, certain reasons for revenge thirst of other characters look too fragile. Hiphop Tamizha couldn’t create an impression with his music. Cinematography was really good and the edits were crisp. The action was also good.
Vishal’s performance was okay with his usual flaws while performing certain humor scenes. Catherine Tresa was energetic and sensible as the lover girl. The actor who performed the role of Vishal’s brother did a good job. Sreejith Ravi with a more heavy dubbed voice does create a good impression on screen. Madhusudhan was a charming antagonist mainly because of his looks.
On the whole I would say Pandiraj’s Kathakali is an average entertainer that has its highs in the treatment part, but lost rhythm because of an underwhelming typical climax that couldn’t keep up with the realistic tension the film created till that point.
Pandiraj’s Kathakali is an average entertainer that has its highs in the treatment part, but lost rhythm because of an underwhelming typical climax that couldn’t keep up with the realistic tension the film created till that point.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended