"Kaalakkoothu" which roughly translates to "the shenanigans of time" brought about memories from the past decade when the path-breaking "Subramaniyapuram" released. That, not only infused a fresh theme in Kollywood but brought in some enthusiastic filmmakers from the rural suburbs of Madurai who most often have their leading men twitch their moustache, wield sickles, butcher people for glory, court earthly lasses with an uncouth outlook. Few years down the line they became stale thanks to "templatized" narratives that soon made the audience impatient to listen to the classic Madurai accent!
In this context, Kaalakkoothu tries the heavily rusted Madurai genre once again. Of course, the story is set a little beyond, in Theni, but the air was quite familiar. Two individuals (Prasanna and Kalaiarasan) who start out as foes in their childhood get united due to deaths; they grow up, fall in love and finally face their fate, once again in death.
On paper, it gives one the impression that the story comes a full circle. Indeed it does. But the narrative was so uninspiring and stale such that even scenes that could have reached a level of creating an impact fell flat.
The movie moved so linearly that sometimes it gave the impression that the director has set out to bring in something natural. But, no, the next moment, we have something that leans on a mainstream formula - like the lead fighting a goon who eve-teases his sister. Then, we have a conservative girl falling in love with a guy whom she has hardly seen quite a few times passing by her house. And, then, the love doesn't blossom because of her father's compulsion to marry someone else. How novel these are for movies in general ??!! Imagine these getting served with a predictable narrative.
In short, the screenplay was a drag and lulled one to sleep. Even after if one were to wake up, keeping pace with the proceedings shouldn't have been an issue.
A fine actor like Prasanna was wasted in a totally uninspiring role. One could feel his apprehension to act in this movie with the sort of dialogue delivery and the lines. There was just no life in it. Kalaiarasan's role that was meant to have some zing was better in comparison. Dhansika as the rural college going girl was neat, but the screenplay just didn't bother to make use of her dynamism. Srushti Dange was another needless addition or whose purpose I couldn't make sense.
Music by Justin Prabhakaran was quite engaging. A couple of songs "Kannukulla Vachirukken" and "Kanna Katti" were hummable.
Director Nagarajan has perhaps been quite conservative with respect to keeping the budget under control as the movie doesn't move beyond Madurai, as do all the characters in the movie. That's a silver lining for the producer in this mess! I am sure, there are much more engaging stories to narrate from down south of Tamil Nadu, that goes beyond the archaic blood and gory dark tales!!