Kaushik L M



KATHTHI REPEAT DOES THE TRICK, Kaththi, Ilayathalapathy Vijay


So, I saw Kaththi early morning on Diwali day, 22nd October, along with scores of other Vijay fans and friends in a theater in the outskirts of Chennai, travelling almost 20 kms from home. The expectations were humongous from my side as I was a big fan of this combo’s previous outing Thuppakki and also liked the trailer of Kaththi.
When I came out of the FDFS, I felt that Kaththi was just a decent commercial flick bolstered big time by the two Vijays and the social interest angle it had. I definitely felt that the movie could have been better. The placement of songs, the presence of Samantha, the flat romance track, the drab first half hour, the total lack of surprise when Kathir takes Jeeva's place, the unabashed corporate bashing and manipulative playing to the gallery were the complaints from my side.
I then let it be, started following the box-office records that Kaththi was piling on with every passing day and felt genuinely happy for Vijay and Murugadoss for pulling off another big success which has made the trade undoubtedly happy. That I got a chance to meet Vijay at a private Kaththi success meet, few days back made things extra-special.
Then on 31st October I decided to see Kaththi for the 2nd time in a single screen theater, to see if my opinions on the movie would be revised. After all when so many people endorse a work, it definitely has to have something going in its favor. To my pleasant surprise, I liked the movie much better the 2nd time around and the movie lingered in me all through the night.
Of course, the complaints about it stay but thanks to the bigger screen and better sound, I definitely could appreciate Anirudh’s BGM score. From Kathir’s prison-break, to the introductory title credits (https://soundcloud.com/izzo-venkatesh/kaththi-title-track-orginal-version), to the scene when Kathir first meets Ankita (https://soundcloud.com/izzo-venkatesh/selfie-pulla-extended-theme), to the scene when Jeeva tests for water in the fields, to the power-packed fight sequences (https://soundcloud.com/izzo-venkatesh/kaththi-coin-fight-bgm-1), to the climax moments when Kathir and Jeeva communicate, Anirudh was on top of his game all the way. The way he used an instrument like the sitar for the villain Chirag’s scenes, and the flute version of  ‘Yaar Petra Magano’ were more revelations. Sky's the limit for this young lad.
‘Anl’ Arasu was the other big standout for me, and a real unsung hero. The much-loved coin fight, the pre-interval flourish by Kathir and Kathir’s glorious climax finish were all terrific pieces, choreographed keeping in mind Vijay’s image, body language, style, agility and screen presence. All the primitive tools and weapons that Vijay uses and Anirudh’s pulsating BGM score added to the experience. 
Vijay’s aggression, reactions and gestures during these fights took it to a different level - his naughty pleasantly surprised facade while taking on the foreign ladies, his gesture with both his hands signalling his people to move aside in the pre-interval sequence, the way he sits stylishly on top of the men he bashes up in the coin fight and the way he presses his hand against his cheek in the final fight, were just ‘scream your lungs out’ moments for any action buff. DoP George.C. Williams must have had a ball capturing Vijay in all his glory in these scenes.
Coming to director, A.R.Murugadoss, I was impressed with the way he took on very vital social issues facing us, during the first time itself. The second time just reinforced my appreciation for his conviction to handle such themes in his film. The mass farmer suicide scene definitely jolted me and Vijay’s much-talked-about intense monologue about the recent scams and burning topics, was an adrenaline rush too. His intensity while delivering such ferocious punch lines and dialogues is one of a kind.
ARM also stands out for having used not just the ‘Mass Entertainer’ Vijay but also the highly competent actor in him, to the fullest. Some of the‘Actor Vijay’ moments which stood out sharp were - Jeeva’s desperation to get out from jail, his childish joy while discovering water sources in the fields, the way he runs helter-skelter towards the soon-to-be cremated bodies, his heartbreak and cry of anguish while realizing that his villagers had been cheated, the way he says ‘Naan Sethalum Vevasaayatha Vitradheenga’, Kathir’s feeling of guilt on stage while realizing the true magnitude of the situation, Jeeva’s subtle satisfaction while Chirag talks exasperatedly about ‘Villathi Villain’ Kathiresan and the final moments between Jeeva and Kathir.
Even Sathish made a mark on me this time around, and the scene where he really scored as an actor was when he confronts the elders who demean Kathir for being a heartless fraud. He was a pretty decent sidekick all through.
Alas, all the flaws and complaints aside, my final word on Kaththi is now clear. Riding on Vijay at his versatile best and with Anirudh’s unflinching BGM standard, Murugadoss has enough and more ‘moments’ where he has the viewers transfixed by his content. This actor - director duo is now definitely among THE combinations in the industry and we can be assured of a collective and boisterous ‘I am Waiting’ from fans for their next outing. As for Kaththi and me, a 3rd sighting is ahead soon …


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