The title is explicit — Katradhu Kalavu(U) is the story of a couple of straightforward folks ‘forced' into thievery, extortion, blackmail and impersonation. They run for their lives and in the process halt at a temple in Rameswaram to get married! In fact, the film opens with their marriage. The chase begins at that very moment and goes on till the end, with flashbacks explaining the various puzzles.

Krishna (Krishna) and Krishnaveni (Vijayalakshmi) come out of their homes for different reasons. They happen to meet on the road and become burglars-turned-life partners. What begins as a case of vendetta, which logically ought to have stopped once the task was accomplished, becomes an excuse for Krishna to go on from one act of offence to another. And when the two consciously get the innocent ‘Kanja' Karuppu into trouble, it isn't funny any more. The Chinni Jayanth saga where the prosperous jeweller is easily duped by the duo is inane.

Even in his first film, Alibaba, Krishna proved that he is an entrant with potential. Somehow, in spite of a toned physique, he looks a little run down in KK, especially in the lengthy, opening chase, as he darts through the roads and bylanes of Rameswaram. An admirably choreographed sequence by ‘Super' Subbarayan! The fight that follows reveals the young hero's urge to impress. As far as expressions go, those big eyes convey fear and anxiety quite well. Krishna's exuberant footwork is another plus.

Vijayalakshmi's make-over suits her — the trendy outfits look good on her lissom figure. She seems to have come a long way from her days as the docile heroine of Chennai-28and Anjaadhey. However, she could work a little more on her diction. Dance master Kalyan proves a menacing Intelligence officer who lacks exactly that — intelligence! The one actor who transcends ambiguities and makes a mark with a wry face and cynical smile is Sampath.

Among Paul Jacob's numbers, ‘Indha Vaanam Indha Bhoomi …' in the voices of Hariharan and Anuradha Sriram is scintillating.

Though debut making director Balaji Deviprasad unravels the mysteries surrounding the characters, including the reason for the Intelligence officer (Kalyan) hounding the lead pair relentlessly, they don't make much impression because the story and Reuben's dialogue don't lend themselves to a gripping fare. No amount of explanation can justify unlawful acts, whether they are committed by a hero or an anti. That is a sore point of KK. The vagueness in the narration is also because the dialogue doesn't always drive the point home. So nothing much stays with the viewer.

KK, which is on a fast track despite the song sequences doing their job of a sleeping policeman efficiently, exemplifies the skill of its editor, Mu. Kasi Viswanathan. Another feather in the cap of Nirav Shah, a past master with the camera!

It's strange that in both his releases — Alibabaand KK— Krishna plays a thief! The genre could be comedy or action but when the emboldened duo remorselessly commits one crime after another the initial sympathy gives way to irritation. And as emotions are only on a superficial level, Katradhu Kalavu, though racy, doesn't make the impact it ought to.

Genre: Action

Director: Balaji Deviprasad

Cast: Krishna, Vijayalakshmi, Sampath, ‘Kanja' Karuppu

Storyline: The offences committed by the lead pair are in no way minor, yet the offenders manage to get away for quite a while …

Bottomline: Frivolous narration plays spoilsport.