Kadal (Kadali) – Review

Feb 1 (TruthDive): Mani Ratnam is back after three years with Kadal, which marks the debut of Gautham Karthik, the son of yesteryear actor Karthik, and Thulasi Nair, the younger daughter of actress Radha. This film is also the comeback movie for Arvind Swamy, who is returning to acting after four years. The Telugu version of Kadal is ‘Kadali.’

RATING

2.75 / 5

CAST AND CREW:

Starring   : Gautham Karthik,Thulasi Nair, Arvind Swamy, Arjun, Lakshmi Manchu
Director   : Mani Ratnam
Producer : Mani Ratnam
Music      : AR Rahman

STORY

Kadal is the story of the good versus evil, represented by actors Arvind Swamy and Arjun. Mani Ratnam narrates it in a very complex way using many layers and sub-texts.

Sam Fernandez (Aravind Swamy) and Berman (Arjun) participate in the training sessions in a Christian seminary for priesthood. Arguments arise between them and the two get separated. They choose different paths. Years roll and Sam turns as a Church Father and Berman becomes a criminal millionaire.

Sam comes to a fishing village to recover a church, which is in rundown state. People residing there have least respect towards the religion. He gradually wins the trust of the people and also becomes the guardian for the young orphan Thomas (Gautham Karthik) who falls in love with Beatrice (Thulasi Nair), daughter of Berman. What happens next will form the crux of the story.

PERFORMANCE

Gautham Karthik looks promising and impresses in dance and action sequences. He has made his first attempt appreciable and his chemistry with young actress is a special treat to viewers.

Thulasi Nair is very young and the expressions of the actress are often cute and her smiles rather unique. She finds hard to handle few plots. Yet, she has tried to do her best.

Aravind Swamy and Arjun are pillars of strength to Kadal.

Lakshmi Manchu has got only a short role.

Like any other Mani Ratnam film, the technical departments excel in their work.

Rahman’s music is just brilliant. In his big album, three manage to stand out – Elay Keechan, Adiye and Nenjukulley.

Photography by Rajiv Menon is absolutely top-notch and brilliant behind the camera. Bombay was perhaps the best amongst Menon’s films. But his work in Kadal is even better.

Editing by Sreekar Prasad and art direction by Shashidhar Adappa are other masterpieces of the film.

Everything on the technical side is neat, while director Mani Ratnam clearly is not interested in narrating the basic plot, which is about good and evil, in a simple manner. Mani has partially succeeded in his endeavour, but he is completely let down by the screenplay in the second half and the one-dimensional characters.

COMMENTS

Kadal has a wonderful script. The slow-paced narration is the drawback, which tests the patience of the viewers. But it could be watched once for the attempt of Mani Ratnam.

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