| || |
KAVALAN MOVIE REVIEW
by : Behindwoods review board
Vijay, Asin, Rajkiran, Vadivelu
C. Ramesh Babu
played hide and seek on Friday when all
other Pongal releases arrived and it wasn’t
even sure whether it would make it to
theaters on Saturday. After facing many troubles from different sides, Kavalan
finally hit the theaters.
at a time when Vijay is at a bit of a
crossroad regarding the path he has to
choose further in his career, Kavalan
is crucial even while not being a grand
remake of the Malayalam film Bodyguard, brings together
the successful duo of Vijay and Siddique once again,
not to mention the hit Vijay-Asin combination. Coming
from Siddique, the man who gave us Friends, the expectations
is of a Vijay starrer that would be rather different
from the ones we have been offered lately. Kavalan
is an emotionally narrated love story about a righteous
and innocent man who is assigned the task of being
a young woman’s bodyguard. He puts full faith
and confidence in anything that he does; his love
story too blossoms because of these qualities. But,
unwittingly, the faith that he shows is taken advantage
of in a way that no one would imagine. It is not with
malice or any villainy that this is done; but out
of love and admiration towards such an innocent person.
It is love and destiny that play hero and villain
in this story of relationships. The movie also subtly
tells us that it is never good to leave things untold
for too long in love.
is redemption of sorts for Vijay –
the actor. For the past couple of years or more, a
lot of Tamil movie buffs have watched in dismay as
he slipped further and further into a quagmire of
senseless commercialism; sometimes not keeping up
with the trend of change in the industry. But, Kavalan
is a reminder to all of us, most importantly to many
directors in the industry, that he can act; not just
as the ‘savior hero’ or messiah of the
masses, but as a person who feels love, happiness,
sorrow and all other emotions. For the first time
in a few years, a Vijay film is not only about its
hero, but about the characters and relationships.
That is about Kavalan
with respect to Vijay. But,
how has the film shaped up otherwise? Its a fairly
engaging, relatable, simple and sweet story of love
which has an unexpected twist and an emotionally charged
climax. Nothing that goes remotely close to commercial formulae, has been
added here; which does not mean
that this is an offbeat or art-house film. It is an
entertainer all right; but one which looks to engage
you more through the interplay of characters rather
than grandeur. Shot and narrated with simplicity,
it leaves you with a warm feeling in the heart because
the director makes you empathize with the characters.
At no point does the consistency of characterization
get abandoned in an attempt to provide a few extra
laughs or thrills. Fights, a couple, look every bit
reasonable and comedy handled
by Vadivelu and Vijay,
puts a smile on your face but fails to make you burst
out with laughter. On the flipside, the length of
the film might work against it. It starts and keeps
moving at a consistent pace (generally considered
slow on the commercial scale) and never really accelerates.
The final hour in particular would have looked much
crisper with a bit of trimming. Even with very well
conceived emotional scenes well enacted by the cast,
one does feel a bit tired. A couple of songs towards
the end too could have been better placed or even
This is a script which gives actors a lot of room
to emote. Vijay has grabbed the chance with both hands.
One wonders if it was his decision to stay away from
‘down to earth’ characters all these years,
or the compulsions from a commercially driven industry.
Kavalan is a throwback to the ‘Thulladha Manamum
Thullum’ days of Vijay and we hope the days
are here to stay. He has lived the character. Asin,
in Tamil for the first time after Dasavatharam, convinces
us with her portrayal. The chemistry of the lead pair
has worked out well; especially the portions where
Asin tries various ways to exasperate Vijay; things
that ultimately result in love. Vadivelu evokes smiles
and the occasional laugh. The rest of the cast including
the experienced Raj Kiran and Roja add weight to the
Camera, editing and all technical departments have
adhered strictly to the requirements of the movie.
Two compositions of Vidhyasagar make you hum along.
Director Siddique shows excellent command over proceedings
right through the movie.
is a movie that defies all the preset
notions of a Vijay starrer that have been built over
the last couple of years. It is his return to the
romantic hero mould and also a call to all directors
of the industry to stop pre-meditating ‘over
the top’ scripts for him. A relatable love story
shot in a cute and simple manner, rich with emotions,
but on the slow side of narration. Yes, there is nothing
special, but nothing to grumble about either!
Verdict: Vijay (re)turns romantic! Feel good
– Feel emotional!