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Kadal: Doesn’t quite make waves

2/4/2013 1:20:15 PM

In Kadal, Mani Ratnam continues to indulge his penchant for experimenting, veering away for urban tales to dwell on the lives of fisherfolk.

Though the underlying theme is the battle between good and bad, he attempts to explore it through the prism of a group of fishermen who are mainly Christians.

 Also, he has picked newcomers -- Gautham Karthik and Tulasi Nair, son and daughter of actors Karthik and Radha respectively -- and got them to perform rather well.

 Mani has got Aravind Swamy to face the camera after a long while and chosen Arjun to don an important character, which he essays with panache.

The story goes like this: Sam Fernando (Aravind Swamy) and Bergman

(Arjun) are going through the grind in a Seminary as they aim to become priests.

However, they are on two different sides of the moral divide and choose their own paths in life after one particular incident. The scheming and villainous Bergman gets Sam entangled in an issue, sending him to prison.

Meanwhile, there is the aimless youth, Thomas (Gautham Karthik), who is cared for and nurtured by Sam. Some years later, Thomas and Bergman's daughter Beatrice (Tulasi Nair) meet and the four characters are brought together. Does good triumph over evil, forms the rest of the plot.

It must be said that despite Mani's best efforts and the towering presence of A R Rahman's music and Rajiv Menon's cinematography, the second half tends to flag, proving to be a dampener. What starts promisingly meanders as it progresses and even loses its way.

While Gautham has performed above expectations and shown glimpses of his potential, Tulasi is some way behind in the performance stakes. It is Arjun and Aravind Swamy who walk away with the honours, especially the former, shining in a role with negative shades. Lakshmi Manchu appears to have been wasted in an insignificant role.

You leave the theatre, wishing this had been a better film.


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