Kaithi Review & Rating
Kaithi Review: Pure and Honest Cinematic Thrill Not To Be Missed
Karthi the actor never disappointed. It is his choice of subjects that pushed him back down the pecking order lately. Still, he every now and then delivered films that packed a punch and in different genres. One such was Kadaikutty Singam which appealed to the family audience. People really flocked to the theatres for several weeks. Now, it's another genre film, Kaithi.
The sort of crime thriller which happens nearly in the realtime and all action during the night time, Kaithi is the most important film in his career. He needs to reassert his box office potential not just in native Tamil Nadu but also in a major outside market where he has a huge fan-following - the Telugu states. Lokesh Kanagaraj, whose Managaram impressed movie buffs and critics, helms this highly experimental thriller.
A team of policemen is marked by a gang as they have confiscated a lot of cocaine. They are made to drink tampered liquids so that the cocaine could be recovered. The head of the team is injured in the process. On the other hand, Dilli (Babu) is a prisoner who is about to be released on parole after 10 years. He wants to reach out and meet his daughter whom he has never seen.
The injured head of the group of policemen involved with the confiscation lists the help of Dilli to take the officers to the hospital. Also, Dilli feels it his responsibility to save the students who are asked to keep vigilance at the commissioner's office where the cocaine is stored. How he does all this forms the rest of the story.
Writing and direction
Right from the first shot, the director is directly into the narration. He didn't beat around the bush in world-building. He straight up established the setup or the moment. Then he introduced the hero into the setup and let him take the lead. It is a character-based drama and the director went with an organic narration than designer narration. Characters behave like they need to instead of responding to the director's whims.
The first 20 minutes make for a riveting watch. By the time the protagonist enters the scene, the audience are already hooked. From then on, it's one action set piece after another like Bruce Lee's dream project Game of Death. A thrilling tussle. Another stunt scene with insurmountable odds. A well-constructed chase. A brilliantly shot shootout. And a few other skirmishes. All courtesy the drug gang.
But nothing seems out of place. There is no interval bang. It just happens over the course of the narration. The screenplay starts on a strong note and the narrative pace quickens as the film progresses. Even at about 146 minutes, the audience never feel a dull moment. Taking a small moment and turning it into a two and a half hour long film takes a lot of guts. But Lokesh Kanagaraj pulled off the impossible task quite effortlessly.
The characterisations are well written. The dialogues have brevity. The setting is compact. The acting is stunningly understated. All these things helped establish the much-needed tension with ample suspense.
Coming to the actors, Karthi has shown his brilliance even when he remains silent. There are several moments in the film where there is scope for a 30-minute long flashback. But the director chose not to deviate from the straight-up narration. He didn't even add a heroine as she's not necessary for the plot at hand. And no songs.
In the scenes where he tells about his past life, Karthi's performance reached the pinnacle. He bested even his best till date performance in Paruthiveeran. His dialogue delivery is class apart. The body language is that of a real prisoner who is in prison for 10 years. His styling is a beefed-up version of his Paruthiveeran self. He's back after the debacle of Dev.
Bargain as the leader of the police group, Bejoy is excellent. Arjun Dass as the short tempered brother of the gangster is well cast. George Mariyan as the constable who keeps up with the students who are on guard at the commissioner's office is decent. Dheena has an intriguing moment with Karthi as a helpless lorry driver.
The background score is out of this world. The cinematography is world class. Shooting an entire film (more than two and half hours runtime at that) is no small task. Sathyan Sooryan has done a great job. The editing is first-rate. The production design is claustrophobically good. The production values are top-notch. Kaithi is a memorable film for everyone involved.
Though mostly aimed at genre lovers, its emotional quotient appeals to the universal audience. The tender emotions between Dilli and his daughter wet your eyes for sure. Don't miss it.
- Terrific narration
- Taut and innovative screenplay
- Top of the line performance by Karthi
- Tender emotions
- Brilliant cinematography
- Sincere execution without unnecessary deviations
- Tad lengthy for the genre. But that's okay as we forget the time watching the film.
Pycker Rating: 3.25 out of 5
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