Cinema

Kathakali: Insipid suspense thriller

Vishal, Catherine Tresa in Kathakali  

The title Kathakali is apt; like the mask of the dancer hides the artistes’s true identity, director Pandiraj keeps the suspense of the mysterious murderer sustained. Kamal (Vishal) returns to India after a few years and is making arrangements for his wedding with Malleswari (Catherine Tresa). A few days before the celebration, Sambha (Madhusudan) a goon in the fishing business who had killed his mother and crippled his father is dead and the immediate suspects are Kamal and his brother. Kamal had once spoken of settling scores with Sambha. Though it had been an unintentional remark, his friend recollects that statement and reports it to the police. That lands Kamal in great trouble; with him are other people who too are suspects.

The love track introduced between Kamal and Malleswari to offset the seriousness goes quite overboard. The story remains interesting as long as he is the innocent youth who can’t explain to the cops of his non-involvement and attempts to save his girlfriend and family. You empathise with him and wonder how he will come out of the problem but once he suddenly transforms into the typical hero it is the regular action movie. The killer's identity is revealed well but the way it has been done lacks any excitement and thrill. Though Vishal initially gives us the impression that he is doing something different with this subject, we know he can never get away from his action hero image.

Pandiraj obviously wanted to attempt something new but he was led into including commercial ingredients like any other filmmaker, the result is just an average watch. The comedy track is irritating and the heroine who is miffed throughout for being stalked by him at the park suddenly falls for him, that is after he buys condoms and his friend is seen playing with it. It doesn't take long to understand that the director is short of ideas but even then a few moments grab your attention. Vishal makes the effort to look the USA returned part, he even uses sanitiser after he accidentally touches his oily skinned friend and speaks in English to Malleswari. Catherine just looks pretty.

The plus point is the music that keeps pace with the racy screenplay and the cinematography adds value. Watch the film if you have nothing else to do as the duration isn't too long either.

Kathakali

Cast: Vishal, Catherine Tresa

Direction: Pandiraj

Music: Hip Hop Tamizha

Plot: Youth becomes prime suspect for murder he didn't commit

Rating: 2.5/5

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 3:20:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/kathakali-insipid-suspense-thriller/article8374675.ece

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