Thursday, 7 February 2013

Kadal - கடல்

Kadal is one of the most anticipated movies of 2013.
v  A movie directed by Mani Ratnam – Someone who is famous for making unusual and out of the box movies. Come on, who can forget Roja, Bombay, Anjali, Thalapathi , Alaipayuthe, Kannathil Muthamilttal, and Mouna Raagam.

v  An AR Rahman musical – Mani Ratnam is the sculptor who presented the World with a great musician like AR Rahman. The duo has always managed to deliver the best compositions ever. I feel like naming a few songs and I decide against it as the list may go and on!

v  Cinematography by Rajiv Menon. Mani Ratnam and Rajiv Menon were joining hands after Bombay and Guru. Nobody can ever forget the pallets of these movies. They were real and seemed natural.

v  Launch pad for Gautham Karthik, son of actor Karthik and grandson of yesteryear actor Muthuraman… And for Thulasi Nair, daughter of once dream-girl, Radha and niece of actor Ambika; also younger sister of actor Karthika Nair. Coincidentally, Karthik and Radha debuted in a film named Alaigal oyvadhillai – A raving hit of that times.

v  Comeback film of once Chocolate Boy  -Aravind Swamy. Once he was the iris of Mani Ratnam who was enacted the role of lead in Roja, Bombay and Indra. He also gave guest appearance in Alaipayuthe.

v  And as a topping, Nenjukulle umma mudinjurukken, which has emerged as a chart buster was in this movie. And I was dying to see how it was pictured.

Thus, I went to watch the film on the second day of release…

The first few scenes were masterpiece from the mastermind. Who else but only Mani Ratnam can deal with child psychology so beautifully! The transformation of the protagonist from an innocent small boy to a mischievous young boy is amazing and then to a boy who stands under the shade of his mentor.

Kadal is a story of battle between good and bad. It is also about love; how the presence and absence of love can affect the life of a person. It is a story of a son who pines for the love of his father and mourns on the early death of his mother. It is a story of a lover who    gets swept off his feet by her charm and innocence. It is a story of a Christian Father who is deeply in love with the preaching of Lord Jesus; who loves the path of love and forgiving. It is a story of a man, who is deeply in love with the demons than angels; who runs behind money than love. It is also a story of a father who fails in front of his daughter on account of true love that he feels towards her.

Thus Kadal is all about love; the different facets of it. It is about seeking true love and following the path of love than vengeance and hunt for wealth.

Everything said, the concept taken by Mani Ratnam is intriguing. It is also complicated; hence, the director struggles to make the screenplay gripping enough. The story loses its charm and fails to woo the audience after a given point of time. It tests patience and becomes painfully boring. As add on, the songs are very bad considering the high standards of Mani Ratnam – AR Rahman.

I am such a movie buff that movies have to try really hard to bore me. And surprisingly, this movie succeeded in that easily. May be I expected a lot. May be the screenplay lost its track after sometime.

What makes the movie watchable is the performance of debutant actor Gautham Karthik; also his characterization. He glides with ease reassuring that acting is indeed in his blood. Nobody would believe that it is his first venture. Boy, way to go! I bet that he is going to stay.

Thulasi Nair is cute and her smile is so innocent that we get attracted towards her. She doesn’t have much scope for acting; yet she makes the most of the opportunity given.

Show-stealers, however, are the veteran actors Arjun and Aravind Swamy. They deliver mature performance. Ponvannan has also played his part well, as always. And of course, Rajeev Menon’s rustic cinematography makes the movie more real. So does the Tamil slang and crisp dialogs.

The movie fails big time only because of two big shots – Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman. They are certainly not at their best.

I was particularly disheartened seeing how badly an amazing song like Nenjukulle umma mudinjurukken was pictured. Lyricist Vairamuthu had written so poetically, yet that goes in vain as the song is used more as a background score. Thumbs down for that callousness! However, I have to tell you that those poetic lines do not suit for the situation at all.

In short, the movie is a little too painful. But, like me, if you also believe that you belong to a generation who has grown up watching Mani Ratnam films and listening to AR Rahman songs, please go for it. But please don’t expect anything like I did; that could actually disappoint you.

Dear Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman…
You stand high in our little hearts. Please don’t slay us. I understand that it is difficult to meet our expectations. But at least, meet your own standards. 


  1. I was waiting for this movie review! In telugu, it is dubbed as Kadali....I loved the songs <3...Thanks for the review Rekha!...