Review Tamil

Kaali review: Vijay Antony's film not outstanding, but not boring either

Release Date: 18 May 2018 / Rated: U / 02hr 13min

Cinestaan Rating

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Manigandan KR

Director Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi's second film Kaali is an engaging drama that works by and large.

Director Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi's second film Kaali, featuring actor Vijay Antony in the lead, is an engaging drama that works by and large.

The plot of the film is simple. Kaali (Vijay Antony) is a reputed doctor with a flourishing practice in a foreign country. He has all that one can hope for. Loving parents, fame, wealth and a lavish lifestyle. There is just one thing that keeps disturbing him — a dream in which he sees an infant being threatened by a raging bull.

For long, the doctor is unable to find the reason for the recurring dream. It takes a while for him to decipher the real meaning of that dream and eventually he does.  Eventually, he gets to know that the people he believes to be his parents aren't actually his mom and dad.

Kaali is determined to find out all about his real parents. He learns from his foster parents that they picked him up from an orphanage in India and he chooses to return to India to search for his parents. The search leads him to a village where he settles to practice medicine and continue his search. It is here that he becomes good friends with Gopi (Yogi Babu), a local who looks to help the doctor in his search for his father.

Kali and his friend Gopi begin to identify potential individuals in the village who seem to have traits or characteristics that resemble his own traits in the hope that one of them may be his father. The duo identify two such individuals and eventually make an attempt to know about their past. Each tells how love has changed their lives forever. However, he also gets to know that they are not his father. Kaali begins to wonder if he will ever manage to find his father.

The film's biggest strength is its comedy track that is solely managed by Yogi Babu. The comedian, almost effortlessly, makes a pretty long film enjoyable with his punches, retorts and swift one-liners. Every single joke that he cracks works. Thankfully, Kiruthiga seems to have given him a meaty part in the film and that works to the film's advantage.

The next big positive factor working in favour of the film is Vijay Antony. One reason the actor has been so successful is because of his simple, down-to-earth attitude which he sports in his films. Unlike most other heroes, who want to showcase themselves as superhumans, Vijay Antony has always played characters that depict him as an ordinary, soft-spoken simple individual, who is like any other common man. In this film too, his character, Kaali, has been fashioned along those lines. A rich doctor who is down-to-earth works.

What does not work, however, are certain portions where Vijay Antony looks to depart from this pattern. For instance, there is a duet song in which he seems to have done what other commercial heroes do. The same can be said of a fight sequence. This particular portion is unlikely to find favour in the eyes of the actor's fans, who like him for his simplicity.

This apart, the film has good performances coming in from all its leading ladies — four in all. Shilpa Manjunath, who plays the wife of Vela Ramamurthy in the film, probably outscores the other three heroines. The next best performance comes from Sunaina, who plays the character of Poo Mayil (Vijay Antony's mother in the film). It is a small character, but she handles it well as always. The third best performance comes from Anjali who plays Valli, who is also the heroine of the film. Amritha Aiyar, too, does justice to her role. Nasser and Jeya Prakash, too, play their parts to perfection.

Coming to what else doesn't work in the film, the film has three flashbacks that are narrated to the audience. The problem with these flashbacks is that all three have Vijay Antony playing the lead part and that somewhat takes away the story's authenticity.

For instance, in the film, Madhusudhan Rao plays one of the characters narrating his story to Kaali and Gopi. However, as soon as he begins narrating his flashback, Gopi is shown trying to visualise the sequence of events and in the process, imagines Madhusudhan Rao as a college student. The moment, he imagines him as a college student, he says, "It is unbearable to imagine this guy as a college student. So, let's try imagining Kaali as this character instead." From there, the story is narrated with Vijay Antony playing Madhusudhan Rao's character during his college years. This way, Vijay Antony is shown playing the lead character of all three flashbacks.

Other than that, the film also has a couple of sequences that might not go down well with those against infidelity. For instance, in one of the flashbacks, a young wife is shown falling in love with a thief. The film has a very slow start, but it picks pace along the way and manages to stay interesting, right till the end. Credit for this goes to Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi, who seems to have done quite a neat job in her second film.

The film has good music. Vijay Antony himself has scored the music for the film and he seems to have done a decent job of it as well. However, unlike his earlier films, in which he was able to deliver superhits, Vijay Antony has not been able to deliver any songs that stand out.

In all, Kaali is a decent entertainer. It might not be outstanding, but it certainly isn't boring.


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