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Review by : Behindwoods review board
Starring: Krishnakumar, Ajai, Roshan, Srishti, Amrita, Nakshatra.
Direction: K R Vishwa
Music: A R Rehana
Production: K Creations
How often do we wish to see something that is really and truly different from the regular fare at the box office? Yes, almost every other film that releases claims to be different, at least in presentation if not in content. And, on most occasions we are left wondering how a movie is ‘different’, as it claims to be. But, watch Kadhalagi and you will be left with no such doubts and questions because this is one film that can proudly claim to be distinct and different from all that we have seen in Tamil cinema in the recallable past. Before this starts sounding like the eulogy to a masterpiece, please be informed that Kadhalagi is not a masterpiece or anything of that sort by a long stretch of imagination. It is a brave attempt that comes as a whiff of fresh air and holds one’s attention unwaveringly. If that is good enough for you, then this is one film you ought to watch. Now, getting down to an honest and objective analysis of Kadhalagi.

First, Kadhalagi is not a mushy and cozy love story as the title suggests. In fact, love is just the backdrop or the motive behind the main proceedings. It is not easy to give hints about the plot without handing out vital details. Therefore, the synopsis will be of a very minimal nature – Kadhalagi is about a young couple in love. The girl (Shrishti Thange) is the sister of a highly influential man (Vijay Gopal) who has very high political and business connections. His only aim in life is to make his caste the most dominant one in society and is willing to do the most heinous acts of atrocity to make sure that no one outside his caste lives a peaceful life. But, as destiny would have it, his sister falls in love with a boy (Krishnakumar) belonging to a caste that is detested by him. Obviously, he is dead against this relationship.

The outline till now might look like the regular Kollywood masala film where poor boy loves rich girl and family opposes. The normal Kollywood route would consist of three fights and a few songs before the couple unites in the end. But, this is where Kadhalagi differs.

The couple realize that there is no way they are going to live a happy life together because of her brother’s high connections and more importantly his unmoving heart which would never yield to any demand that would dilute the honor of his caste. Therefore, the couple along with a few of their friends, hatch a highly risky, but ingenious plot to put her brother behind bars and escape never to be seen again (leaving behind evidence of the kind that would make him believe that his sister never left).

That’s as much as can be said about Kadhalagi without exposing too much of the suspense. The plot hatched and its execution are definitely very novel to Tamil cinema and the director must be congratulated for holding a few things very close to his chest right till the end where he chooses to break them open. With only two outcomes being possible, the audience is still left unable to decide upon the right one until it is revealed on screen. That is the high point of Kadhalagi .

Having said that, Kadhalagi is not a perfectly scripted and executed film. There are a few points in the film that leave one disappointed. First, there are a couple of loopholes in the script - a couple of key incidents leading to the success of their plan do not appear believable enough i.e., everything seems to fall in place a little too easily for the audience to accept it. For example, how can a doctor be fooled about the death or otherwise of a body? There are also a few sequences which could have been filmed in a more convincing manner (like the one in the mortuary).

The director deserves applause for thinking along different lines, coming up with a script that is almost gripping throughout (barring the few points mentioned above) and having the courage to remain faithful to it without being swayed by commercial callings. Yes, there are a few songs, of which a couple are good (especially Roja Thottathil) and a little bit of dwelling on the romance of the lead pair which could have been cut down or even avoided (but that might be wishful thinking). The film is already short (2hrs.15mins app.) by general Kollywood standards and with the above-mentioned trimming it could have been a full thriller-suspense flick. Anyway, no comedy track and item song itself are a big relief.

The script is the hero of Kadhalagi with no single character being given extra emphasis, all being equal contributors to the proceedings. The surprise factor is Prakash Raj who appears in a role whose actual identity and purpose remain in suspense right till the end.

Overall, Kadhalagi is a film that is bound to impress those who love to see different subjects. Some trimming, more focus on the suspense element and some deft handling of sequences would have greatly elevated this film which is already a very good attempt. And, the makers seemed to have faltered in selecting an appropriate title for the movie; ‘Kadhalagi ’ hardly indicates suspense and thrills, it suggests a feel good love story, which we don’t think is the best way to advertise this movie.

Verdict: Genuinely different!

Tags : Kadhalagi, Krishnakumar, A R Rehana
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