Mani Ratnam, one of the most admired and revered filmmakers of our times, is back with Kadal, which marks the debut of Gautham Karthik, the son of yesteryear actor Karthik, and Thulasi Nair, the daughter of sensational actress Radha. This film also has Arjun Sarja and Arvind Swamy, who is returning to acting after four years, in the important roles. His last film Raavanan was not appreciated by media and his fans. Even though the film got thumbs up for the performance of the cast and crew, the film fell flat due to the unimpressive storyline.
However, it hardly matters to film goers as people are well-aware of his capability. Indeed, the audience often expects masterpiece kind of products from him. Will Kadal be an yet another landmark film? Is the film a perfect launchpad for the star kids? Has it entirely met the expectations of the audience? Kadal is all about good versus evil. It is a war between two characters, who have contradicting thoughts and beliefs and ultimately good will prevail over evil. The story begins with Berman (Arjun Sarja) challenging Sam Fernando of teaching him a lesson after the latter was asked to leave from an institution for committing a mistake.
Then, Sam Fernando turns a priest and comes to a fishing hamlet to revive a church, which is in dilapidated state. It comes to the place where people have least respect towards the religion. He gradually wins the trust of the people and turns guru to Thomas (Gautham Karthik), a mischievous kid. Suddenly, Berman enters the picture with several wounds on his body. Sam saves his life and the Berman expresses his wish to meet his lover played by Lakshmi Manchu. The story takes a twist here and the father sees himself behind the bars due to Berman's cunning tricks. At this juncture, Berman woos Thomas, who is in love with Beatrice played by Thulasi Nair, pulls Thomas to his side and what happens next should be seen on-screen.
The story of Kadal is good and has a good message. The film will also tells you to be morally correct. In fact, the experience of watching the film is like reading a novel. It is a serious film without the comedy element. However, the screenplay fails to keep you engaged. The slow narration and the length of the film could play a spoilsport.
The stars of the film is Arvind Swamy and Arjun Sarja, who have given splendid performances. Gautham Karthik has got a good launchpad and he is outstanding in his role. His innocent expressions and ability to fight and dance make us to believe that he is a promising actor. Thulasi is charming at parts but she could have done a better job.
Like Mani's earlier films, the cinematography is surreal, grandiose and simply overwhelming. Rajiv Menon's cinematography is exceptional and the spectacular locales are a visual treat. Kadal has quite a few enjoyable songs. 'Adiye...', 'Elay keechan...' and 'Moongil thottam...' are our picks but have to tell you that the album is not Rahman's best. However, the background score is exhilarating.
The fights in the film is realistic and songs picturisation is excellent. Last but not least, Mani Ratnam has to be appreciated for bringing out the best from his technical team once again but has to be blamed for failing to keep it an engaging affair.
Verdict: Kadal might impress you If you are a bookworm!