The K factor -- Kaathavaraayan

A DAMPENER: Kaathavaraayan  

Genre: Action

Director: Salangai Durai

Cast: Karan, Vidhisha, Vadivelu

Storyline: The hero lands in jail thanks to the heroine and when he comes out he gets to know that she’s in dire need of help.

Bottomline: Begins loud and bold only to end with a whimper.

At a time when he has begun to give the impression that he would back only winning screenplays, Karan does a turnabout of sorts to the early days of his career. After ‘Kokki’ and ‘Karuppasamy’ comes ‘Kaathavaraayan’ (U) but unlike Karan’s previous films his latest ‘K’ is a dampener.

Writer-director Salangai Durai’s story takes off pretty well but soon crash-lands on a terrain that’s interesting only in parts. Though the story is quite predictable and has strange twists and turns, it has a strong message or two. So it’s not that the line is flimsy — only the handling is flippant. After a point ‘Kaathavaraayan’ travels listlessly.

The plot

Kaathavaraayan (Karan) is a bootlegger, with his code of ‘business’ ethics charted out. Otherwise he has no qualms about his means of livelihood.

Malathi (Vidhisha), a college student, crosses his path and soon thanks to her, he finds himself behind bars. The menacing look he gives her and his bloodshot eyes that spew venom when the policemen parade him on the road, make you believe that there’s much to follow. There is, but nothing that’s riveting enough!

Karan does his best but ‘Kaathavaraayan’ falls flat because the treatment lets him down.

Comedy is typically Vadivelu. He tickles the funny bone only in the sequences where Karan joins him. It is one of those rare occasions when the heroine has a substantial role to play. That Vidhisha could have utilised the opportunity better is another point.

Radha, who debuted in ‘Sundara Travels,’ has been included for the oomph but her rotundity proves a deterrent.

Karthikraja could have avoided some of the irksome camera angles while focusing on the lead actors. Yet with the story taking place in Hogenakkal in the first half, it lends itself to some picturesque backdrops which the cinematographer has captured in all their beauty.

Hum-worthy refrain

You get to listen to a hum-worthy refrain (‘Oru Haiku Paarvai’) from Srikanth Deva, the composer — just forget its heard-before feel. Editing (Peter Babiyaa) could have bettered things to a great extent. Sad that it appears shoddy.

Close-up shots of actors don’t always match the mood of the scenes. Reactions that aren’t not quite in tune with the flow of the story and a screenplay that doesn’t exploit the initial tautness are the negative aspects of ‘Kathavarayan.’ On the positive side is the sincere performance of Karan.