Even Vadivelu's comedy fails.

Kaththi Sandai review The action-comedy dies even before it begins to rise
news Film Review Friday, December 23, 2016 - 22:09

Crisp Rs. 1,000 notes are being taken away in a truck. The text on the side of the screen says, ‘6 months earlier.’

When movie was being produced, demonetization hadn’t yet reared its head. So, the film’s team carefully placed the text at the beginning to show that Rs. 1,000 notes were being transported earlier this year – not now.

And then, within the next 15 minutes, “Kaththi Sandai” loses all its credibility due to its silliness. The introduction scenes of Vishal, Soori, and Tamannaah are enough to believe that common-sense needs to be dumped to watch the rest of the flick.

Soori is a good-for-nothing loafer who calls himself a rowdy only to earn food. His character is modeled on Vadivelu’s famous character, Naayi Sekar, from director Suraaj’s own 2006 film, “Thalai Nagaram”. The dialogue “Naanum Rowdy Dhaan” from that movie became very popular and went on to become the title of a super-hit comedy starring Vijay Sethupathi and Nayanthara.

Soori has been mainly brought in to bring the roof down with his dialogues, and fails at almost every attempt. The only time I broke into a smile was when he drew a kidney instead of a heart during what was supposed to be a romantic moment between the characters played by Tamannaah and Vishal.

The story of “Kaththi Sandai” revolves around the identity of its lead. Who is Arjun (Vishal)? There are two interesting aspects regarding his character that open up just before the intermission, and a social message in the climax that tie the whole film together. If these points were made the backbone of the film, it would have been far more appealing. In order to cater to the masses, the film needlessly pauses at several junctions (like romance, comedy, songs).  

Tamannaah has about 5 lines in the latter-half of this cringeworthy movie. For Suraaj and his team, the term ‘entertainment’ is perhaps not very clear. Vadivelu’s brand of humor hasn’t changed in nearly two-and-a-half decades. He gets slapped and beaten up by people around him for no reason. His facial reactions which used to turn cinema halls upside down with cries of laughter are entirely missing this time. His entry scene begins with the “Neruppu Da” theme playing in the background. It’s great to have him back as a supporting actor, but he should join hands with filmmakers who give him the right space to perform.

Perhaps filmmakers like Suraaj think that women should be dim and predictable in films. And that’s apparent from how the women are okay with whatever their men say or do. If the man says that they were in love in their previous birth, the heroine doesn’t waste a second anymore, and follows him to uncover the ‘truth’. She later falls for his ‘sincere efforts’.

Considering the level of intelligence running in the film, one is left wondering about the tag, ‘6 months before,’ that the film carried in the opening scene. Was it a part of the screenplay? Going by the standard of nonchalant imbecility peppered throughout the movie, it’s hard to come to terms with the possibility of thoughtfulness that was offered initially.

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