Spoiler:This review works if you have already watched the movie.If you havent and if you dont care to watch this movie spare a minute to read this without fail.
Kadal for me is a tale of the fragility of the trait ‘character’ in each of us. If you have watched departed you would remember the mafia leader saying “I dont want to be a product of the environment, but rather want the environment to be product of mine”. That works for few extra-ordinary people. But what about those who are normal and abnormal in the other extreme? This movie portrays two such abnormal orphaned lives from birth to their unison.
Having been orphaned in his childhood, Thomas(Gautam Karthik) lives on the shores(hence Kadal:!) with the patronage of local Church’s father.He is a ruffian with all those average traits of a boy in fishing hamlet.He is hard to convince by philosophic discourses, but he is highly volatile to emotional stirs. I see that as a reason for him to be influenced equally by the good (Arvindswamy) and the evil (Arjun).
The other orphaned girl Beatrice(Thulasi )grows up in a missionary and hence is an embodiment of kindness. We were told to imagine that her emotional part of her brain had refused to grow from her childhood, while being a genius medico! While its perfectly reasonable to argue the logic behind it ,the sensitive me saw that as a model of an uncorrupted soul. She moves from an incident to another with ease without the emotional baggage of the past until she gets to meet her dad.
These two characters are made to meet and fall in love abiding the rules of the cinema.What impressed me was that the movie was not about these two. But about the goodness and evilness in them. We were introduced to goodness and evil in separate forms much earlier in Arvind swamy and Arjun.One could get an illusion that the plot is about the tussle between the Good Arvind and bad Arjun and end up questioning the strength behind it. But if you view it as a tussle between the goodness and evil within Gautam Karthik, then Arjun and Arvind’s characters serve as tools to portray it.
In the absence of Arvind the gullible Gautam believes in the ways of Arjun and goes by it. Even murdering his probable dad doesn’t move him much. And when ArvindSwamy returns , Gautam has walked too far in his chosen path to be influenced. It takes that inexplicable lady love to remind him of any reasons left to be normal. It takes an act of birth to remind him the value of lives which he takes off from others with ease.
Now lets see a bit of what didn’t work for me in the movie. Gautam’s strain in dialogue delivery spoils his portrayal many at times.We get introduced to Thulasi only near the interval and it takes sometime for the character to set establish it’s nature in the scheme of things. Certain songs like magudi didnt fit in to the movie and they could have done without it.I didn’t like the way the movie was forcibly made to take an end in which all goes well with much ease.
I guess the movie didnt work for many because they were concerned about what was happening on the screen. If you follow the transitions of the little boy(Gautam) and ponder over why the heck such things happen to him, then you will be reminded of the ‘fragile’ nature of character in each one of us.Thats why it worked for me.
Thats the end and now you are free to critic the movie and the review down here!
PS: I was heavily biased against this movie by my friends & media . There is a chance that those -ve expectations” made this actually ‘bad’ movie look normal.I dont know a way to examine whether I would have said the same about the movie if I hadnt known it was by Mani Ratnam. Let me say that I didnt like even a bit of Ravanan.
And I am a strong *** fan of Kamalhassan. Inspite of the positive remarks from everyone I didn’t like his so called magnum opus. May be there is a chance that the +ve expectations made a good movie look normal.
If the footnootes were true, then as my friend said,we have here a formula to enjoy even bad movies and kill your time.