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Kadal (U)

  • Starring :
    Arjun, Arvind Swami, Gautham Karthik, Thulasi, Lakshmi Manchu, Ponvannan
  • Language : Tamil Genre : Drama
  • Synopsis :

    Berchmans (Arjun), a brilliant but unruly student, is thrown out of his seminary for committing the sin of the flesh after being caught red-handed by fellow student Sam Fernando (Arvind more...

  • Director :
    Mani Ratnam
  • Music Director :
    AR Rahman
  • Duration: 2 hrs & 44 mins

Synopsis

Berchmans (Arjun), a brilliant but unruly student, is thrown out of his seminary for committing the sin of the flesh after being caught red-handed by fellow student Sam Fernando (Arvind Swami). Blaming the good-hearted Sam for his ouster, Berchamns vows revenge and challenges to prove that evil does reign supreme in this world.

Critic's Review

Kadal is very much an old-fashioned tale of good versus evil, a conflict between a man of faith and his nemesis. What gives the film its distinct flavour is its setting - a Christian village in southern Tamil Nadu. It is a new milieu for Mani Ratnam, but the ace director, supported by his cinematographer Rajiv Menon and art director Shashidhar Adapa, transports you effortlessly to a fishing hamlet. Jeyamohan's dialogues only add to the nativity.

But, disappointingly, it is only so far that Ratnam succeeds. Kadal, as far as its narrative goes, is often uninspiring with one-dimensional characters and ineffective scenes. Thematically the plot is a bit closer to Paul Thomas Anderson's masterful There Will Be Blood, which was also about the clash between two characters representing two ways of life, but even the prelude showcasing the rift between Berchmans and Sam - which sets the entire story in motion - lacks punch. Agreed, Ratnam's characters are in striking black and white as opposed to Anderson's who were distinctly grey, but still there is hardly any tension in these scenes to foreshadow what is to come.

And, surprisingly, Ratnam chooses to stick to the least interesting of these two characters - the saintly Sam, and thus, sacrifices quite a bit of narrative juice. We meet Sam few years down the line, now as a priest, trying to get an indifferent fishing community interested in religion. It is in this village that he comes across Thomas, the orphaned son of a dead prostitute, unwanted by the villagers. He takes it upon himself to mentor the young boy, who soon turns into an unruly lad (Gautham Karthik).

A quirk of fate brings him in contact with his old adversary and an unwitting Sam is trapped in Berchmans's evil designs. Worse, Thomas becomes a pawn in his opponent's plans. But, even as he is sucked into a world of crime, Thomas has a ray of hope in the form of Beatrice (Thulasi), a brilliant nurse affected by a childhood trauma. Interestingly, it will be Beatrice who will also be the ultimate test of the extent of Berchmans's malevolence.

Given that most of buzz around Kadal has centred on the two young actors debuting in the film, it is somewhat anti-climatic that Kadal isn't really their story. Still, it is their romantic track that leads to the denouement but Ratnam gives this a perfunctory treatment that it lacks even the slightest bit of fizz. And, it is all the more shocking because this is a filmmaker who has captured young romance like no other on screen. Gautham at least looks the part but the thickset Thulasi is hardly able to capture the child-woman nature of her character. It is left to Arjun and Arvind Swami to makeup for the shortfalls of the younger actors and the two try their best but with characters too broadly etched, they are forced to play archetypes rather than flesh-and-blood personalities. Ratnam usually creates memorable supporting characters, but here he disappoints us. What we get are the characters of Ponvannan and Lakshmi Manchu, which are left underdeveloped despite the promise of potential.

The other unexpected letdown lies in the way the songs are placed and picturised. While the visuals seem to be a retread of what we have seen in his earlier films (Adiye... holds the echoes of Raasaathi... and Nenjinile... while Moongil Thottam... feels like a hastily done mash-up of Pachai Nirame... and Kadhal Sadugudu...), Ratnam treats the songs as unavoidable speed bumps in the narrative. And, A R Rahman's background score is overpowering, often drowning out the dialogues, which are already a bit difficult to follow due to the dialect.

Given that it is only recently that we saw a poignant film (Neerparavai) set against the same backdrop, Kadal's flaws are even more glaring. It is a failure for Mani Ratnam the storyteller, saved only to a certain extent by his visual flair.

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  • Rating 1.55

Review posted more than 6 month ago

1.5 stars is only for the songs.. ARR was amazing with his compositions.. But the movie didnt live up to the hype and expectations.. Same old wine but not in a new bottle..

  • Rating 1.55

Review posted more than a year ago

Good director is missing his movies for some time ..

  • Rating 15

Review posted more than a year ago

Trying to prove that anything can be packed and delivered through a fame medium. But truth never fails.

  • Rating 2.55

Review posted more than a year ago

Mani without much stuff

  • Rating 45

Review posted more than a year ago

An attractive movie with a beautiful story ! Nice to watch !

  • Rating 05

Review posted more than a year ago

Disappointment from mani rathnam...

  • Rating 45

Review posted more than a year ago

  • Rating 1.55

Review posted more than a year ago

Timepass

  • Rating 25

Review posted more than a year ago

An average movie

  • Rating 15

Review posted more than a year ago

boooring movie

  • Rating 25

Review posted more than a year ago

ok movie

  • Rating 25

Review posted more than a year ago

okay movie

  • Rating 1.55

Review posted more than a year ago

MANIRATHNAM-a legend past his expiry date.

  • Rating 3.55

Review posted more than a year ago

Great cinematography. Has all elements in it; but storyline is weak, and hence a tad disappointing.

  • Rating 35

Review posted more than a year ago

one time only

  • Rating 15

Review posted more than a year ago

Sea-Don't See

  • Rating 15

Review posted more than a year ago

avoid

  • Rating 55

Review posted more than a year ago

one time watch

  • Rating 35

Review posted more than a year ago

Acting of Arjun and Aravind Swamy are awesome to watch in the movie. Their Characterisation is excellent. Rest nothing great.

  • Rating 35

Review posted more than a year ago

The director had confused himself. He started so nicely with idealogy of two characters. But but then it takes to different direction. The choregraphy of the film is so worst. Magudi song is about lovers and they are showing the screens of motherhood and childhood. There is no scronizhation btw sceens and songs. At the end its is back to track.

  • Rating 35

Review posted more than a year ago

a fantastic movie of good versus evil concept ! good going gautam..........superb comeback by aravind swamy.................rajiv menon at its best ar rahman sure u have a oscar..............but overall the movie was not a satisfactory from maniratnam sir....................

  • Rating 05

Review posted more than a year ago

ok

  • Rating 4.55

Review posted more than a year ago

Forgiveness or Revenge: When faced with the criminal destroying everything you treasure, which path would you choose? What leads to spiritual enlightenment, following a preacher formally educated in a religious discipline, or a peek into a heart filled with childlike innocence. Can a human truly be classified as being God or Devil, or are both entities inside each of us, and only the circumstances dictate who manifests outside? With a biblically inspired tale set in the backdrop of the lives of Christian fishermen in Southern Tamil Nadu, these are some of the questions director Mani Ratnam and writer Jeyamohan seem to be asking. While the ideas of sin, redemption, revenge, forgiveness have been around in cinema since the beginning of cinema itself, the choice of the sea as a backdrop allows the director to use the various moods of Mother Nature to elevate the emotions in the depicted events, and credit, here, is due to the cinematographer, Rajiv Menon. For a movie with seemingly lofty intentions, the actors do not disappoint. Arvind Swamy as the pragmatic priest who uses carrots and sticks to straighten a boy with an adverse past, Gautham as the energetic young hero in constant struggle to find his place in the society around him, Thulasi the young convent girl who refuses to grow up, and Arjun, the man who made a deal with the Devil, and would stop at nothing to get his way, all of them play their characters convincingly. The disappointments in the movie are the under utilization of some songs in the excellent soundtrack (Anbin Vaasale in particular), and the final showdown which, although shot splendidly, could have packed a stronger emotional punch, either through better dialogue or by tweaking the storyline. Part of this could have also been an outcome of editing, and one hopes that an uncut version of the movie releases on DVD at some point that better explains these problems. After Thalapathy and Raavan, this is the director's third venture to be inspired by a religious epic. While the other two movies were modern retelling of the Mahabharata and Ramayana, Kadal is not quite a reinterpretation of an epic, but the characters and events were certainly inspired by the stories from the Christian faith (the betrayal, crucifixion, resurrection, divine comedy). Is it mere coincidence that the hero, born as a fatherless child to a woman named Mary and constantly referred to as God's son in the movie, sported longish hair, mustache and beard on his thin visage almost reminding us of the Biblical son of God. Of course, if indeed the purpose was make a movie inspired by the story of Christ, then unlike Raavan and Thalapathy, why is religion also an explicit element in this movie. Perhaps, since the question posed is that of choosing a path for life, a religious backdrop is inevitable. For a tale about forgiveness, Christianity may have provided the ideal landscape.

  • Rating 45

Review posted more than a year ago

Good Movie.. Nice come back for Avraind Swamy

  • Rating 25

Review posted more than a year ago

Good movie

  • Rating 1.55

Review posted more than a year ago

Should be Worst movie of the year in tamil. Maniratnam got totally wrong in this movie to express his spiritual objectives. Songs are too good and cinematography is pleasant but all of'em lost in this Mani's bewilderness. Actors are good but not used properlly. Disappointed.

  • Rating 05

Review posted more than a year ago

Idiotic movie, one of the worst movie I ever seen in my life.

  • Rating 05

Review posted more than a year ago

GOOD

  • Rating 0.55

Review posted more than a year ago

Funny movie. There are so many casts without no use. Gautham has done his best,

  • Rating 0.55

Review posted more than a year ago

Waste of time. Mokai padam. Especially the climax fight is pathetic.

  • Rating 35

Review posted more than a year ago

Mediocre

  • Rating 55

Review posted more than a year ago

I gave 5 stars, bz this kind of movie normally happen in Hollywood . This is first time in Indian industry, its a good sign that tamil film industry is travelling into world class track. The characters angels & demons cleverly portrayed by the ace director. thanks Mani sir to expose the Christianity in movie. ARR always Rocks. climax fight gave me feel of watching the Hollywood movie.

  • Rating 05

Review posted more than a year ago

Maniratnam intelligent commercial screen play and flavor for suitable BGM is missing. Mani all the best for next one.

  • Rating 05

Review posted more than a year ago

Dear Mr. Mani, it's high time for you to retire now. You have given lot of good films in tamil thanks for all. With that good name henceforth pls take anymore movies like Ravan and Kadaal. Your movie is utter waste. Especially after interval one has to really cry for such a horrible movie. Better get yourselves invoked in small screen or take rest pls

  • Rating 3.55

Review posted more than a year ago

a tipical mani film

  • Rating 1.55

Review posted more than a year ago

very mokkai.. and AR rahmans music is merely waste for this film.. expected alot on hearing songs.. but very disappointed.. no songs has any relationship with the scenes.. on hearing the lyrics i thought it would be better.. but merely wasttteeeeeeeeeeee

  • Rating 4.55

Review posted more than a year ago

Please relate the movie to christian theology about Lucifer, Gabriel, God, Mother Mary, Guardian angel, Confession and a soul. I think then you will start really understanding the movie. Personally, I feel that this is one of the best movies Mani Ratnam has done. Superb cinematography, excellent music and a good cast. Comparable to 'Anpe Sivam' by Kamal Hassan or 'Devils Advocate' by Taylor Hackford.

  • Rating 1.55

Review posted more than a year ago

poor

  • Rating 55

Review posted more than a year ago

My dear friend can you say some of your favorite Indian films which you watched recently ? just I want to know whether you r eligible for making this comment

  • Rating 25

Review posted more than a year ago

its good for those who understand mani ratnam way of thinking...for others its a not good ...mani ratnam is great director in the country...its better for the people to understand his thinking....otherwise maniratnam should take movie which make people easy to understand.....whatever it is... every attempt of maniratnam is excellent....people should rewind all his movies and think about the bottomlines of all his movie..ur best sir...next movie should should live to everyones exceptions...

  • Rating 25

Review posted more than a year ago

Disappointed me.

  • Rating 35

Review posted more than a year ago

Nice Movie... only for Manirathnam Fan's

  • Rating 55

Review posted more than a year ago

I totally agree ! best of Mani sir.

  • Rating 15

Review posted more than a year ago

Another one.

  • Rating 4.55

Review posted more than a year ago

nice movie

  • Rating 55

Review posted more than a year ago

.Superb movie.. Gautam acting super..

  • Rating 35

Review posted more than a year ago

Nice

  • Rating 3.55

Review posted more than a year ago

TIME PASS

  • Rating 55

Review posted more than a year ago

Every one looks at Good Vs Evil in the film... but there is a motive to name this movie as kadal.. he can even show good vs bad in any region (city), but y he has shown it in kadal (sea).. hero's dad was shot by an evil in the hands of the hero.. but hero could not do anything.. he just kept his mouth shut ... think ppl.. i totally enjoyed this movie.. sema sandwitch story depiction. this is tamil cinema at next level. did anyone had a look at the indian flag hoisted in the ship/boat in which the climax fight took place... who all thought the herione was ? .. y she has a pshycological problem after the incident in her childhood. this is not a stright forward plot... think ppl think.

  • Rating 35

Review posted more than a year ago

good

  • Rating 1.55

Review posted more than a year ago

Mani ratnam sir...please understand your limits. Leave it for new generation.nothing comes on hero's face.children can make out the artificial set up. Fisherman hero dances like a posh college boy. Climax reminds movie PERFECT STORM. But where is perfect storm where is Kadal..

  • Rating 1.55

Review posted more than a year ago

downfall of a legend


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