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Thursday, February 14, 2013

'Kadal' - Movie Review

The movie 'Kadal' was an unparalleled beauty that, in my humble opinion, the Tamil Cinema Industry has ever seen. Just like certain new inventions that would first be rejected and pushed aside by the large public, and then finally accepted as a norm, 'Kadal' is one such movie that surpasses its time and maturity of the audience! Therefore, I am not sure if the Cinema Industry deserves such a genius movie maker like Mani Ratnam.

For those of you out there who are yet to watch this movie, the story of 'Kadal' is about the goodness in humanity and its evolution. It is sad when people simply classify it as another typical film that portrays the fight between the 'good' and the 'evil', and fail to understand the subtle message delivered by MR through this beautiful masterpiece called 'Kadal'. 

The casting was amazing. MR has brought back Arvind Swamy from his long "hiatus"! Many of you might have seen a picture of Arvind going bald and fat. But here he is, back to acting and he looks great in this movie, just like where he left off in his last movie! Arjun fits the role of a 'satan' perfectly, acting as a villain after a long time. This time we see him in a role that is quite different from all other roles he has done till now as a mass hero! Gautam and Thulasi were each also perfect for their debut roles as Thomas and Beatrice. Throughout the movie, we can actually see both the characters growing and evolving, so too our understanding of the characters in this movie.

Apart from casting, we also have to look at the excellent cinematography by Rajiv Menon. He has did it again and it's something that you have to see in the big screens to appreciate its beauty! 

Then there is ARR's music to accompany the genius cinematography! Many reviews have claimed the music to be not of ARR's usual quality. But I think it has surpassed his usual quality. I've always felt that ARR's music is an acquired taste and once acquired, you will never let go of it. His songs will be constantly be on repeat mode in your iPod for several days. That's the beauty of his music! 

What captures you the most at first is "Moongil Thottam" and then "Nenjukulle". Then comes "Magudi" to thrill you and make your hairs stand. After a few times listening, you will similarly be encaptured by "Elay Keechan" and "Adiye". And then as a grand finale, you will be mesmerised by "Anbin Vaasale"... I simply don't understand why some people would call this music as being not up to the usual standards of ARR! 

MR has captured the beautiful accent of the Tamil fishermen and their lifestyle. I really love the open-ended scenes in the movie, where much is left to your imagination and understanding, than just stating the obvious! In other movies, we often see dummy characters placed within a movie just so to praise the protagonist and claim that he is the strongest! But in 'Kadal', such messages reach the audience automatically without verbal declarations. This is what I like in this movie.

Ok, now coming to the downside of 'Kadal'. There are parts of this movie where it seems to not make much sense. For example, why should Father Sam care for Berchmans in hiding? Why didn't he call his "Church assistant" for help instead of calling the village woman? These are certainly a few loopholes, less obviously manipulated to twist the storyline in MR's favour! 

I certainly thought that the filming of the "Adiye" song could have been better. The whole sequence of the song seemed to have been filmed as if it were a stage performance. If Beatrice was to be portrayed as a child-like character, why did she look so serious in this song sequence, I fail to understand this!

Other than these two points, I fail to find any other faults in this movie. I would defintely give it 4 out 5 stars. I praise MR for his courage and perseverence, when it comes to making movies like 'Raavan' and 'Kadal'. People often tend to criticise him for lifting stories from ancient epics like Ramayanam, Mahabharatha and this time, from the Bible. But just think about it carefully. In Hollywood, films are made based on comics, fairytales, and gospel stories too. One example was Avatar, the story of which resembled Pocahontas. 

'Kadal' is a film that doesn't insult the intelligence of the audience. It was taken with the intention to convey a message greater than just a story sequence of the "good versus the evil, good triumphs over evil". It is a story about the goodness as guided by God and of the goodness guided by humanity. This message is conveyed at the climax, where even Father Sam succumbs to give up in his quest for goodness, while Thomas triumphs in finding the goodness in humanity and saving Berchmans, simply because his daughter was the sole reason for showing him that there is goodness in humanity.

I am not an avid MR fan. But I feel that he is a key person responsible for bringing the Tamil Film Industry to another whole new level! There are no cocky love scenes in this movie. There are no kuthu songs in this movie. There is "hero" or "heroine" in this movie as all characters play important roles. There is no obscenity in this movie. In total, it is a movie that doesn't taint your mind, but leaves you feeling more human at the end of this movie!


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