Kali Malayalam Movie ReviewFeature Film | U | Action, Drama, Romance, Thriller
The steady descent to hell and back that Sameer Thahir takes us on in his film 'Kali' offers an affirmation of his standing as a keen story teller. Creepy and downright disturbing, 'Kali' qualifies as an exhilarating thriller that gradually builds up on its pinprick tension and steadily heads towards a shattering climax.
Sidharth (Dulquer Salman) has lived with the man-with-the-excessive-temper tag all his life, brushing people the wrong way, left, right and centre. His wife Anjali (Sai Pallavi) often finds herself at a loss to deal with his reckless fury, and at last decides to move out of his life. Sidharth offers to drive her to her home in Masinagudi, and enroute has a spat with a lorry driver (Vinod Jose) with devastating consequences.
In a sense, 'Kali' is reminiscent of the Spielberg jewel 'Duel' (1971), and one cannot help thinking of the Dennis Weaver film, when Sidharth drives into the parking lot of the wayside eatery, and finds the ominous lorry parked right there. Thereon, 'Kali' takes a different route that keeps you hanging on to the edge of your seat.
Road rage is probably the least discussed of all anger issues, and in a hilarious scene Sidharth offers a lesson or two to Anjali in car driving, gruffly insisting that she remember that it's the driver that needs to swerve the car forward and not the other way round. Thahir makes a pertinent statement of sorts through this scene pointing out at how ironic these words are, coming from the mouth of a man whose life rages ahead as a stirrup less horse, once trounced by anger.
There are scenes aplenty in 'Kali' that even those of us with relatively lesser anger management issues can easily relate to. The forever-missing-car-key syndrome is one such concern that almost every household deals with pretty much every morning, and while it remains that most of us do not fret it out as Sidharth does, it does at times drive us into spasms of uncontrollable exasperation.
And then there are those moments of impulsiveness, when you decide to do something and then quickly realize that it was one real, awful impetuous act. Running around like the dog that inadvertently gets its head stuck in the pot, a succession of unmanageable events follow suit, and there is nothing much to do except let them unfurl by themselves.
The sense of dread that Thahir and writer Rajesh Gopinathan cook up in the latter half is unnerving, and the frights line up rapidly as well. The winding, isolated roads to Masinagudi seem to teem over with terror, as the dark night bluntly declines to shed some light over them. It's a mean death race in which man and machine compete with themselves and each other to frenetically make it to the finishing line.
Dulquer is at his histrionic best as yet in 'Kali' and looks impressively mature enough to handle the complex emotions that Sidharth goes through, grappling with extreme wrath one moment and severe remorse the next. Sai Pallavi underlines that she is an actor to reckon with and that the Malar impact was no accident; she is tremendously efficient in playing Anjali, and looks delightfully gorgeous. The kind of screen chemistry that the two share is nothing short of electric, and they push themselves to extremes in 'Kali', complimenting each other all the time, and the impeccable results are there for all to see! Vinayakan and Vinod Jose excel in supporting roles, almost as if unwilling to settle for anything less.
Gireesh Gangadharan's frames are unhurried and deliberately intimidating, approaching each moment with caution, and simmering with a burning intensity all through. Gopi Sunder chips in with a dazzling musical score that never for once impedes the narrative, and instead gracefully adds to the seething tone of the film.
'Kali' offers a brilliant take on the man-eater emotion called rage, and viscerally examines the dreadful repercussions that it could possibly have. A fine feature that is at once weighty and wicked, it upends your expectations, and how!