It’s not the typical Mani classic, neither would it fall in the lap of a run-of-a-mill commercial bolt. It plunges in to a zone that’s spurred by moments of brilliance and has Mani’s baton in patches of singing waves.
I have stated for sometime now and I continue to echo. Filmmakers make, create, introspect, visualise and evolve with times. Mani Ratnam has seen, made and failed with courageous attempts. Foiled with grace or sold with gratified poignance, his is a charm of unfolded parlance. ‘Kadal’ comes across one such product. His protagonists are extremes of our beloved life and the lead artists are beautifully etched as amateur players in the land of love and Jesus.
Veterans return with gaunt abilities and the script is woven around them to knuckle the initial pampers. Gautam Karthik’s space is a bit more stretched when compared to Thulasi Nair. Both appear to be talented, Gautam is your next door rugged youngster with a disturbed childhood and fanatic father. He essays his role with mobile restraint. Thulasi looks prettier than what I saw of her in the interviews, her role is carefully etched by Ratnam. Arvind Swami is back post hiatus and gives a performance within his limitations. But the pick has to be ‘Action King’ Arjun. A baddie from the word go, he becomes the bad boy of Jesus and has ambitions of being the ruling ‘Shaitan’. He gets that out well with provincial ease and gets a restrained end to his ‘invincible’ chores.
The soundtrack stands out, as is the case with all Mani ventures. ARR wields magic yet again and ‘Moongil Thottam’ stood out. My favourite, though, is the polar track of ‘Magudi’. An AR Rahman finesse, it looks out to be his muse in ‘Kadal’, throughout.
The difference between ‘Kadal – The Film’ and ‘Kadal – The Extraordinaire’ is Rajiv Menon. I, was awe struck as he toyed with water like a kid with his pantheons. Breathtaking waters with coconut trees and waves like a colossus, ‘Kadal’ is his famed menace. Bravo!
With an ordinary script, baking moments and Rajiv’s ultimate demeanour, ‘Kadal’ is worth a watch.