Director Pandiraj is back after a long hiatus with back to back films. After Pasanga 2, it’s Kathakali now and this is his first action flick which is quite a deviation from his regular children’s flick and comedy films. Vishal had a mixed year of 2015 with average films like Aambala and Paayum Puli but he won the Nadigar Sangam elections which surely ended his year with a good note. Produced by Pandiraj and Vishal, Kathakali stars a simple cast of actors including Catherine Tresa, Karunas and co.
Kathakali is the story of a family ravaged by a local don who gets mysteriously murdered. With a lot of suspects including the lead and his brother, the crux of the story is to figure out who the actual murderer is. Just like any other film that builds up suspense, characters that aren’t connected to the murder are shown in a light as if they’re actually the murderer, only to unravel the twists at the end.
The film is slow paced intentionally and takes it’s time for the story to develop. This is a tailor made role for Vishal for whom the man who stands up to injustice is a character that fits like a glove. Catherine’s role of a city girl doesn’t have much to perform but gets a decent amount of screen space. Karunas is back after a while as a comedian and Imaan Annachi is there too for the comic relief. There are two songs which are cleared off at the first half itself. Hiphop Tamizha’s background track is definitely more interesting than the songs. Though it’s an action film, the use of very less fights but still having a gripping second half shows the directorial prowess. Handling the henchmen and sending a selfie with them to the villain shows how mass scenes are redefined these days. The only way to make a slow moving film entertaining is to cut short the run time and it has worked really well. Second half was much better and the final few minutes is a roller coaster ride with a line of twists.
Overall, Kathakali is a film that can be enjoyed with family for it’s clean content and less drama. Though one might walk out of the theatre sensing a lack of some important element, Kathakali is definitely worth watching once.