Nic Arts’ Kaalai (A) has all the ingredients to click at the box office. But what proves to be its bane is its predictability. An elderly woman (Seema) transforms an entire village to such an extent that the residents can’t brook any unruly elements entering it. Ganja and alcohol are prohibited. A corrupt cop Jeevanandam (Laal), who gets to know about the village, vows to destroy all that’s good there. But he gets beaten up by the villagers. Enraged, he kidnaps the old woman and sets fire to the police station in the village. The woman, revered by the villagers, dies, leaving behind her grandson Jeeva. From thereon it is a tale of revenge. The first few scenes make one wonder what the director is up to? As there are three Jeevas in the film – hero, cop and rowdy - it is confusion till one gets to know what each character is meant for. Hero Jeeva (Silambarasan) wants to avenge his grandmother’s murder by killing the cop, who is also called Jeeva. The police officer wants to kill rowdy Jeeva (Tharun Shathriya) as the latter is keen on marrying his daughter Brinda (Vedika). The rowdy is entrusted with the job of eliminating those standing in the way of Jeevanantham. So he wants his share of the cake in the form of marriage with the cop’s daughter. Lakshmi (Sangeetha) who takes the mantle from the old woman tries her best to deter hero Jeeva from taking revenge.
The film would have been appealing if Simbu had refrained from blowing his own trumpet. One can accept the local MLA bowing to him, because he is Seema’s grandson, but it is ridiculous to see him beat up whoever he comes across, irrespective of the person’s status.
Simbu does make an impact, especially with his silence. His facial expressions speak volumes. These finer points have been captured well not only by the camera but also by the director.
Vedika is beautiful and emotes only in the first half as she tries to narrate her problems created by rowdy Jeeva to Silambarasan. Seema has done a good job as the head of the village. It is Laal’s show, from the first frame to the last, and he acquits himself well. Santhanam succeeds, only partially, in evoking laughter. Nila’s appearance in a dance number does not actually contribute much. The visualisation of the songs featuring girls does not go well with the film.
Sangeetha as Seema’s successor, makes more noise than doing anything substantial. But she makes up for it in the last 15 minutes of the film. Tharun Shathriya is a good find for villain roles.
R.D.Rajasekar’s camera work is commendable while G.V.Prakash Kumar’s music is not of the same standard as his previous film. His background score is better than the songs.
Editor Antony must have worked more to achieve cohesion. S.S.Chakravarthy has produced the film for Nic Arts and Tharun Gopi’s dialogue is up to the mark. It is in the departments of screenplay and direction that he has faltered.
Kaalai Genre Revenge
Cast Simbu, Vedika, Sangeetha, Santhanam, Seema, Laal and Tharun Shathriya
Storyline An old woman revered in her village gets killed by a corrupt cop. Her grandson takes revenge.Bottomline The hero’s boastful nature takes the sheen away from the story
S. R. ASHOK KUMAR