Kathakali Review, What’s Behind: Tamil hero Vishal enjoys a good patronage in Telugu states. So, ‘Kathakali’ was actually planned for release during Sankranti season but stepped back due to heavy competition. Directed by Pandiraj with Catherine Tresa as heroine, finally the movie released today in theaters. Let us see, how great is this murder mystery thriller?
Kathakali Story: Samba Shiva (Madhu) is a dreaded goon ruling Kakinada city. Here lands Kamal (Vishal) from the USA to marry his sweet heart Malleeshwari (Cathreine Tresa). Under suspicious situations, Samba Shiva is murdered and primary accused is framed as Kamal, his family members. Thus arrives Kakinada SI (Sreejith) into scene for investigation with primary suspects in Kamal, local Ex-MLA’s son, rival businessman and few others. But, SI decides to make use of situation closing the case by mounting Kamal as killer. Meanwhile, Kamal’s family suffers and the narration unravels more with intriguing murder mystery throwing lot many twists and turns. What’s the rivalry between Kamal family and Samba Shiva? Who killed Samba Shiva and others form rest of climax.
Kathakali Artists and Technicians: Familiarity of Tamil directors is their honesty in scripting and sincerity in execution without taking liberty on adding a commercial angle. ‘Kathakali’ is a simple murder mystery plot and who done it? The point looks silly and what’s new in it. However, Pandiraj’s interesting screenplay and creation of instances within the given focus of central plot keeps us engaged. With less of action and more of untangling a crime, narration meanders through decent surprises. Pandiraj’s direction kept the audience to keep on guessing about the murderer and that’s the achievement he might have wanted to. Bala Subramaniam’s cinematography added a much needed ambience to narration and those drizzling night shots created a right mood. Pradeep’s editing was good in handling the romantic track. Shashank Vennelakanti dialogue writing helped to an extent but overall it’s the domination of Arava flavor. Hip Hop Tamizha’s background score is distinctive and really amazes you. Production values of VFF and Shree Krishna Creations are noteworthy.
Onto performances, Vishal stood perfect fit in confused and helpless guy’s characterization. He is a cheater at looks and portrays decently in romantic episodes too. By the time of climax, we are sure to sympathize with Vishal and his mind game. Catherine Tresa is beautiful and doesn’t have much to do. Sreejith is ideal as barbaric SI. The guy who played Vishal’s elder brother and his family members were so authentic. Telugu TV artist Madhu is again exemplary. Harish Uttaman, Lakshmi Ramakrishnan and others did well.
Kathakali Rating Analysis: For Telugu audience it is always refreshing to enjoy well made thrillers with right tension creating moments. In that case, ‘Kathakali’ is a satisfactory show with good take off and well dealt ending. In between, there is a tale of pointless love, friendship, betrayal, police egos, political rivalry, hardships in middle class family emotions and above all a puzzle to solve.
Much of first half swings to and fro with lengthy romantic track establishing a professional backdrop for actual conundrum to unveil. Framing the hero into murder case and SI getting active into case keeping the suspects list lengthy enough closes first half on a promising note. What’s uneven from Pandiraj is he never left big or worth to analyze clues for audience to tease their brains. Without coloring any artificial heroism on Vishal, the characterization is struck much to ground reality and so is the behavior of other characters.
Second half, Vishal stepping into bus from Vizag to Kakinada with his every minute movement captured within the visible limits of SI added a shock value to treatment. Hero rebelling against odds was a bit unconventional yet a racy narration keeps us hooked. By climax, the plot further intensifies divulging answers to many questions is again interesting.
All in all, ‘Kathakali’ is a refined hardcore Tamil flavor thriller flick with a murder mystery plot. For Vishal Fans in AP, TS; this could be worth watchable. With none of so-called Telugu comedy based commercial entertainment stuff, film is sure to have a limited adoration. So, Cinejosh rates ‘Kathakali’ with 2.5 stars and let’s wait for final BO verdict.
Kathakali Cinejosh Verdict: Fairly Watchable Thriller.
Kathakali Cinejosh Rating: 2.5/5.0
Reviewed by Srivaas