Amuthan returns to his hometown for his marriage. When the local gangster Thamba is mysteriously murdered, both his gang members and the police suspect Amuthan and his brother. Now, it’s his turn to escape and prove his innocence. While the hero character runs in panic to establish his innocence, the audience is drenched in the thirst for knowing the killer.
Special applause to Pandiraj for bringing the thrill and tension to the screen, even with a top masala action hero playing the lead. Usually, the issue with Indian thrillers, especially Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi, is that when a top hero is the main lead, the audience does not really feel the tension, knowing that the ‘hero’ will not get ‘hurt’. There are some exceptional films like Pa. Ranjith’s Madras. The structure of Kathakali keeps you busy. Pandiraj creates an atmosphere filled with tension and maintains it for around one hour in a two-hour movie. That was impressive, very impressive. He avoided heroism for 80% of the film, and that is exactly where the movie works. More than the twists, that is why the audience feels relaxed when the ‘hero’ character starts hitting the ‘villains’ towards the end.
Balancing Thrills with Masala Action
On the downside, it jumps to the story without many buildups, but then it goes back to the heroine now and then before returning to the actual story. Although the heroine and comedy portions are not bad, we feel less interested in knowing about her. It was more like ‘inserts’ for the sake of the heroine and a romantic song. The story could have continued from where it started. When the actual story begins, and the pace shifts after the first forty minutes, we simply forget the ‘heroine’. Another point on the downside, but not surprising, is the sudden turn of Amuthan into an ‘action hero’. The moment Amuthan starts hitting the villains with ease, the movie’s tempo vanishes and jumps to the usual ‘action hero’ genre from a brilliantly made ‘suspense thriller’ genre.
This is without a doubt the best performance by Vishal. I rate it higher than his performance in Bala’s Avan Ivan because as the boy next door Amuthan, Vishal is very natural and simple. He fits into the character perfectly. Catherine Tres is beautiful and convincing. Karunas is good in his loud but decent comedy scenes. Sreejith Ravi and Madhusudhanan do their jobs well. Hiphop Thamizha Aathi’s background score is one of the best. He continues his form from Thani Oruvan. Editing by Pradeep Raghav is top-notch, and so are the visuals by Balasubramaniem.
Engaging and entertaining. A pretty good action thriller.
Kathakali gives, anyway, a thrilling film noir experience for around one hour. The ending doesn’t really click together. We can see that coming. Overall, it’s a good thriller, a cut above other masala movies. The writing is sharp and straight. This is a movie that is too smart for its own good. It is a fairly entertaining one twenty minutes, especially if crime-thrillers-with-some-heroism are among your genre preferences.
Cinephile. Learning the art of filmmaking. Script Writer of Amutha (Tamil) and Pattaapakal (Malayalam). Filmmaker.