With a dramatic sequence that moves you to the core, title sequence rolls out with Magudi Magudi - you can imagine what awesomeness lies ahead in the latest offering of Maniratnam. It would be unfair if we compare (many reviews did) this with his own past works. Even the finest creator - can't recreate the magic once he does. And each unique thing he creates - there is something that you can not avoid. Kadal - is a drama that moves with poetry, beauty and moods of Kadal - the Sea.
After that moving start, the story moves in an engrossing way. With entry of Father Sam (Arvind Swamy) in the village and how he meets kid Thomas (played by brilliant kid, who is he?). One of the best sequence in the movie features between the two - and a tape recorder. Grown up Thomas (Gautham Karthik) who now share father-son like bond with Sam, meets Bea (Thulsai Nair) and 'kahaani' goes further.... You assumed? Well, no. Yes, a 'star-kids' launchpad this is - but Mani sir knows how to launch them. Mixing up the story with the moments that are perfect for new stars is brilliantly done here. You go 'whoa' when (in a very cliched way) in a long cut - you see our kid hero converting into an adult. You see that cute girl next door, but only later understand why she speaks in such a charming way. Everything has been taken care of - carefully.
Beauty of Kadal lies in its fascinating audio as well as visuals. As always it is - in a Mani sir's movie. Rajiv Menon beautifully portrays moods of the sea on screen. From being breathtakingly beautiful, to mysteriously dark and ferocious. And how I can not praise Rahman's score in here. How a scene would be incomplete if Anbin Vasale wasn't playing in background? (I was in tears at that moment). Colors in Elay Keechan. And those mesmerizing Moongil Thottum and Nenjukulle moments. Sigh... Though only one song I feel wasn't done well - Adiye. Otherwise, the songs are alone the reason to watch the movie again. People who are complaining about song placement - well, this is after all, a MOVIE. Why are they looking for more 'real' things here?
About the pace of the movie - yes. Screenplay needed a few cuts here and there. That would speed it up a bit. But given everything was fine, performed well by the actors, I didn't feel it was dragged. Gautham Karthik - for his first movie, looks promising. Though there are places where he falls short, but clever direction, saves day for him. While Thulasi Nair looks lovely, and plays her (rather short) part with all the charm. Its the lead characters (as I call them) Arvind Swamy and Arjun - the good and the bad - who steals the show in this story. That calm aura and charm Arvind has on his face, works seamlessly throughout the film for his role of Christian Father. While menacing Arjun's eyes does talk when he doesn't. Really powerful his portrayal of 'Satan' is. (Need to find more of his works).
Kadal - in totality is a treat for movie buff like me. A treat for eyes, ears, mind. How finely it mixes up the 'launchpad' formulas parallely with a meaningful story & Oh God, how striking is beauty of the sea. Watch it - for the brilliance, called Maniratnam.
Tags : Kadal movie review, Celina, Lakshmi Manchu, Thulasi nair, tulsi nair, gautham, gautam karthik, karthik son, maniratnam, a r rahman, arjun, bergmans, father sam, thomas,