by Sai Shyam G
After delivering a blockbuster commercial entertainer Thuppakki with Vijay, director AR Murugadoss had two choices. First one is to make an even more racy thriller on a more grandeur budget, and the other one is to make a film in stark contrast to Thuppakki. AR Murugadoss chose the latter with Kaththi, and that has made all the difference.
The movie revolves around Jeevanandham (Vijay), who is a do-gooder to the villagers, a business tycoon (Neil Nitin Mukesh) and Kathiresan (Vijay again), a petty thief. As you might have predicted, the movie’s plot focuses on the mistaken identities and their ordeals against the antagonist. However, a larger and meaningful message in support of the farmers, is also conveyed in the film.
It is not exaggerated if Kaththi is rated as Vijay’s boldest and most sincere film in his career. The movie has his favourite portions such as humour, songs and fight sequences, but they are kept at minimal proportions. The movie focuses on a much bigger issue, which requires the protagonist to carry it on his shoulders, which Vijay has done brilliantly. Needless to say, he is mighty impressive in songs, fight sequences and his effortless comic sense adds to the charm. However, what is more appreciable is the way he has carried himself throughout the serious episodes of the film. He has shown immense maturity and confidence in the director, and it has paid off. Vijay does show subtle variations between the two characters. While one character requires him to be flamboyant, the other warrants him to be understated. Whether Vijay pleases his fans through this movie is secondary, but he has proved his mettle as a real performer now.
Samantha has minimal screen presence, with songs being her forte. Her expressions in the ‘Selfi Pulla’ song are worth admiring. Sathish comes up with a neat performance as Vijay’s buddy in the film and his prospects look very bright henceforth. Neil Nitin Mukesh packs a punch as a sophisticated villain, with his style and attitude. The rest of the supporting cast, comprising mostly of elderly people, are good in their roles.
Anirudh’s music is something to rave about in this film. His background score, especially the interesting versions of ‘Teaser Theme music’ and ‘Selfie Pulla’ are addictive. He also manages to come up with contrasting music in the second half for serious sequences, that convey grief and anger at the same time. The songs have received enough accolades already.
George C Williams has made sure this high budget film is visually rich and appealing. He has used interesting colour tones for the village sequences and the sepia tone in ‘Aathi’ song is innovative. The fight sequences are interestingly shot and choreographed.
Direction – AR Murugadoss
Firstly, kudos to AR Murugadoss for entrusting Vijay with this film and showing us the other side of him. It needs immense courage from a maker to do such a film with Vijay, who commands humongous fan base and expectations. Secondly, the director has made sure that the movie is not devoid of commercial values. He has tried to deliver a socially relevant film, that also has the scope to showcase Vijay’s strengths.
AR Murugadoss scores big in being as earnest as possible to the central plot. The press meet scene is the highlight of the film and AR Murugadoss backs it up with hard-hitting stats and dialogues. For instance, one of the dialogues can be translated to ‘When a beer factory owner owes Rs 5000 crore and walks freely in the society, why does a farmer have to suicide for a loan of Rs 5000?’ There are also some bold dialogues against 2G scam and politicians. The movie also showcases the sad state of media these days in our country, which is behind sensation. The plight of farmers and how we tend to be insensitive towards them, is brilliantly shown in the film without any exaggeration. The mass suicide scene of farmers, accompanied with the unpalatable dialogues, is sure to leave anyone in tears.
On the flip side, the characterization of Jeevanandham is unconvincing towards the end, and little more care could have been taken to give the character more screen time. The second half does slow down considerably and requires a patient watch. The romantic sequences don’t excite the audience much too. However, overlooking such flaws, the movie is a must watch, for the message it conveys.
Written by Sai Shyam G | Follow @saishyamg