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Review by : Behindwoods review board
Starring: Krishna, Vijayalakshmi.
Direction: Balaji Devi Prasad
Music: Paul J
Production: Pattiyal Sekhar
The ‘con couple’ concept is something that appears extremely rarely in Indian cinema, though it is quite commonplace in Hollywood. And, therefore, any attempt to craft a film along these lines in Kollywood will definitely carry the stamp of novelty. There are very few films releasing these days that impress with their choice of theme and Kattradhu Kalavu is definitely one of them. In fact, this weekend seems to be dedicated to novelty with Kadhalagi also impressing by treading on unfamiliar territory.

Kattradhu Kalavu is about a couple who want fast and easy money and what better way to get that other than con people out of their money. It all begins with Krishna (Alibaba fame) being cheated out of an original idea of his by a prominent person in the society. He wants the rights and benefits to his idea, but the big shot is not willing to listen to any of his pleas. He is left with only one option, stop pleading and start threatening. But, big shots are not easily threatened, because
  Kattradhu Kalavu
they already have a ‘workforce’ ready to hit out for them. So, Krishna has to device a plan that will corner the big shot. This is where he needs a partner in crime and he finds one who is just perfect for the job. Vijayalakshmi plays a young lady who leaves home because of certain domestic constraints imposed upon her. She too is in need of money - fast and easy. With a common purpose, Krishna and Vijayalakshmi work out a plan and soon they are blackmailing the big shot with videotapes that they threaten to release all over the media if he refused to pay up.

Nothing succeeds like success, goes a saying and buoyed by the success of their maiden outing they decide to make a career out of fraudulence. Their ‘career’ takes off in a big way and soon there are earning big amounts left, right and centre without breaking much sweat. Their confidence soars and before they know they are blackmailing a minister. What they don’t realize is that they too have limitations and that there are bigger sharks in the water which can gobble them up. The minister, after initially caving in to their threats decides to settle scores. What happens next?

The script is the central character of Kattradhu Kalavu which is one of its strongest points. A racy tempo is maintained for most parts, sagging only at a few points. The first hour and the pre-climax portions are really racy. There is intelligence and plausibility in each of their conning games. But, there is a portion where their growth as fraudsters is shown in detail. Some of the episodes shown there (though of not much importance to the central plot) seem a bit poorly conceived and farfetched, especially the scene in the jewelry shop. Also, the portion where the lead pair’s romance is focused upon, though only for a very short while, is a definite dampener on proceedings. With a few corrections on these fronts, the script could have maintained a consistent racy pace right through the length of the film.

The lead pair, Krishna and Vijayalakshmi, has done a neat job, getting into disguises, changing accents, behaving differently to cheat people out of their money. They look convincing as the con couple. This is definitely a pretty good performance by a couple who have just above 5 films between them. Krishna, in particular, shows that playing a petty thief/fraudster comes easily to him; remember his performance on debut –Alibaba. Other seniors in the cast include Santhanabharathi and the Late VMC Haneefa who as usual, lend credibility to the proceedings. There is also Sampath Kumar as a police officer; he impresses with his presence and performance.

Music does not have too much importance in the film, though a couple of songs do find a place. The ‘Kattradhu Kalavu’ number has been stylishly shot. Background score by Sabesh Murali is apt for the kind of movie that Kattradhu Kalavu is. Nirav Shah has handled the camera and as usual comes up with a good result. Action in Kattradhu Kalavu is mostly dictated by the script and there is no high-flying stuff, just neatly done fisticuffs and fights.

As said earlier, if there is a hero in Kattradhu Kalavu, it is the script. Racy, unpredictable, thrilling – with a few speed breakers here and there (which can be overlooked). There is enough suspense to keep one hooked right through. Watch Kattradhu Kalavu for a different Tamil cinema experience; con couples are not commonplace in Kollywood.

Verdict: Compelling ‘con game’

Tags : Kattradhu Kalavu, Krishna, Vijayalakshmi, Balaji Prasad, Nirav Shah
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