– Dinesh Ravichandran
Vijay Milton is back with another simple story of an underdog triumphing over the evils much like his earlier gem Golisoda. While Golisoda is about a group youngsters fight against all odds for their survival, Kadugu tries to portray the larger emotions that the society reflects and how with good deeds, one can win over the evil.
Pandi (Rajakumaran) is a performer of an art called Puli Vesham, where the dancers dress up like a tiger and they perform stunts resembling the animal. He is also called Puli Pandi stressing his profession, but incidentally the art no longer yields any income and he does any work that comes his way, and lands as a domestic help for the Inspector who gets transferred to a town, Tharangampadi where the story is set. He befriends Anirudh (Bharath Seeni) who is a petty thief turned helper in the station and is in love with a college girl. There is a Good Samaritan of the town Nambi (Bharath), a local boxer who is seen as a potential political leader by the people. Pandi is a benefactor in his own rights, and uses all the little opportunities to help people around him. Alongside Pandi, one gets to know about Ebby, a highschool teacher who had a disturbing childhood.
At the behest of Nambi, a Minister comes to the town for a function and stay overnight at Nambi’s place. On that fateful night, the minister tries to molest a little girl and the girl escapes leading to series of betrayal, selfishness that leads to the death of the girl. How the unlikely group of Pandi, Anirudh and Ebby join forces and seek justice for the girl forms the rest of the story.
The first half takes it own sweet time to establish the characters, and it does engage us as all the characters are strong, righteous in their thoughts and are willing to do give back something to the society. The second half though starts strongly loses steam towards the end and turns preachy. But the message that is carried through some powerful dialogues makes us to ignore the preachiness and overall. the viewers get a satisfying watch.
After a long time, Bharath shines in a well-etched role and is a delight to watch, Radhika is good and evokes sympathy. Bharath Seeni as Anirudh, Venkatesh (Inspector), little girl and her mother and the minister ably support the screenplay.
Kadugu does prove that it is as essential movie as the name it bears. A Decent watch