Kathakali Tamil Movie
Kathakali is a surprising whodunit thriller from the stable of director Pandiraj, who is long known for his kids based entertainers and social thrillers. We have seen Vishal in similar plots earlier - Pandianaadu and recently, Paayum Puli. Cries of darkness, which were evident in the aforementioned films, can be sensed in Kathakali too.
Pandiraj has taken a wafer thin plot and narrated it beautifully. He has efficiently used different storytelling techniques to create suspense among audiences and whets our appetite even more with exceedingly sumptuous twists and turns occasionally.
Vishal arrives to Cuddalore to marry Meenukutty, played by Catherine Tresa. When the local kingpin Thamba gets murdered under mysterious circumstances, police department starts rounding Thamba's foes and the usual suspects. Unfortunately, the age old tussle between Thamba and Vishal's father is brought to the attention of police officers, who decide to shut the case by using Vishal as scapegoat. Then, Vishal sets out on a grimly set journey in the backdrop of incessant rains to find out the real culprit who murdered Thamba.
The first half is mostly spent on setting the characters and creates depth for each role. Though it eats out a little bit of time, Pandiraj stages it beautifully without making us frown in disappointment. But, the romance portions between Catherine and Vishal are quite lifeless and boring. In fact, Catherine makes her presence hardly felt in the story.
The proceedings get accentuated only at the riveting interval block which leaves viewers scratching their heads. The second half pans out swiftly and at two hours of running time, the film is solidly packaged as a crime thriller. One literally gets the feeling of reading a crime novel thanks to the majority of firmly cinematographed night shots by cameraman Balasubramaniem. Hip-hop Tamizha has done a perfect job with the background score though he failed to create an impact with the film's songs.
Another smart move by Pandiraj is to stay clear of songs in the second half, which moves on at a steady pace without any dampeners. Overall, Kathakali is a finely etched thriller with an interesting bunch of twists that keep us at the edge of our seats.