Pandiraj’s Kathakali (2016) Movie Review
Movie Review: Kathakali
Star Cast: Vishal, Catherine Tresa, Madhushudan Rao, Poster Nanda Kumar, Mime Gopi, Karunas, Lakshmi Ramakrishnan and Pawan; Directed by Pandiraj, Written by Pandiraj & Vishal, Cinematography by Balasubramaniem; Edited by Pradeep E Ragav; Music by Hiphop Tamizha
Censor Certificate: UA & Runtime: 125 Minutes
Local gangster Samba (Madhusudan) has kept Kakinada under his full grip. Kamalakar Reddy (Vishal) has returned from USA on a vacation to marry Malleswari (Catherine Tresa). Along with marriage preparations, reveals the incidents which led to his love with Malleswari to his friends. In between these events, Samba gets murdered and Kamal turns out to be prime suspect. The Inspector in charge, Harish Chander (Srijith), is after Kamal as his friend Satyam (Kiran) accused him of killing his boss Samba. The rest of the film is a Kathakali between Vishal and persons with motives to kill Samba.
Coming to performances, Vishal Reddy lacks fire, even so, his looks and presence manage some semblance of impact with the audience. Catherine Tresa is livelier in this flick than we’ve seen before. She is in contrast, manages to make a mark despite being called upon to do nothing more than gush some stale jokes when the going is about to get tough. “Autonagar Surya” fame Madhusudhan slips into the double layered character like a professional. Rest of the characters Nandakumar, Mime Gopi, Karunas and Pawan have done a decent job. Srejith acts fine as a powerful Inspector Harish Chander.
Kathakali starts off with a decent sequence giving the viewer something to chew upon. Then the film goes into a routine settings of Hero trying to impress bubbly, innocent, talkative girl. And then as the songs starts coming in, you are quickly forced to assume that an eternal love is already there between the lead pair just out of nothing. Further the narration introduces more phony characters like tough gangster, the frustrated friend, Powerful police officer, an Ex MLA, a helpless business and then weaves a quite a emotionless moot film around these all. What doesn’t work in the film is the second half, due to the whacky writing by National Award winner Pandiraj with some cardboard characters, and no serious intensity between them. Moreover the silly explanations in many important sequences turn this into a simply below average film like the way; one kills always tries to be cool and stay away from controversy; If Inspector was trying to close the case there should have been proper evidence pull things off but director never cares about it; Even the investigation was not properly showcased by Pandiraj as he only tries to full accused box with a random person without much of an evidence. Still among these laughable insertions Kathakali does manage to keep you engrossed for some good 15 minutes when the whole romantic episode between Vishal and Catherine in the first half (BTW! He tried the same kind of romantic episode in his first film Pasanga). But then it soon returns to the same over melodramatic and depthless execution heading towards a lifeless climax, due to which one neither feels anything for the main characters nor gets arrested by the beautiful orchestration of Hiphop as desired.
To praise the right departments, the frames are pretty colourful, the cinematography is impressive, the background score does well and the soundtrack has already proved itself before the release very deservingly. Crisper editing and a bit faster transition between the scenes would have made this film an edge of a seat entertainer. Production Values of Vishal Film Factory is appropriate.
Analysis: To conclude things, Director Pandiraj orchestrates one fourth clever shock and one good romantic sequence, but that’s it. In roughly two-thirds of the Kathakali, the cast wander pointlessly, while we wait for something else to happen. After about half an hour, I found myself thinking how much nicer it would be to go for a Kathakali dance performance, which isn’t really the reaction this sort of movie is supposed to arouse.
Survi Review: 1.5/5