• Sandeep Chandrasekar

Kaithi Movie Review

Kaithi is an action-thriller film directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj starring Karthi, Narain and Dheena in the lead roles. Kaithi starts off by introducing us to all the characters in the film and sets the premise for the whole film in the first 30 minutes. We are shown a huge drug bust by Bejoy (Narain) and his team, a few college students stuck in the police commissioner’s office beacuse of a D&D case, Dilli (Karthi) who’s life sentence has been dropped due to a remission in his sentence and Dilli's daughter waiting for his arrival in an orphanage. The interesting thing is that all the events in the film takes place through the course of one night. 

Karthi looks superb with a beard and has a tinge of spiritualness which is shown throughout the film in small instances. It’s a big comeback for Narain again as a cop whom we have seen in Mysskin movies like Anjathe and Mugamoodi. He plays a sincere cop whose only focus is saving the lives of police officers who were drugged by the gangsters and safeguarding the loot from the drug bust as he goes to the extent of threatening Karthi so that he may never see his daughter again. It’s a very nice touch to show this because it’s boring to see a daring cop all alone in his mission but at the same time also shows compassion towards everyone in 2019. Dheena is a fantastic addition as Kamatchi in the film who not only serves comedic purposes but also as Dilli’s navigator. 

Karthi as Dilli

Though the film is very serious involving multiple people at multiple locations, Lokesh still manages to incorporate humour in the film through his consistent writing like his first film Maanagaram. George Maryan as Napoleon has been given a pretty serious role to play in the film considering the humorous roles he used to take up in his previous movies. The college students have done a fine job which is pleasing to watch. 

Anbu (Arjun Das) is the main villain in the film who just dominates the screen through his sheer voice accompanied by the striking visuals and background score. It also features spies planted by the gangsters and the police within each other but after a while their moves become predictable as Lokesh had already set the premise in detail in the beginning. Most of the mass moments in the film are demanded by the script and didn’t feel unnecessary like Michael’s entry in Bigil or any other blockbuster action movie. 

Arjun Das as Anbu

But the true hero in the film is the background score by Sam CS combined with the incredible cinematography by Sathyan Sooryan. Sam CS delivers a solid score for not only Dilli but also for Napoleon and Anbu. He uses silence as a pause break when a tragedy occurs in the film. Plus the sound design/engineering is done with such precision in the movie. For example when the Jumbalakka song plays in the police commissioner’s office; from the POV of the persons inside the building it has a surround sound effect; while from the POV of the people outside the building it has a flat sound with reduced bass. The detailing is to such extent that a person talking on the phone hears a distorted version of the song playing in his ear. Sathyan Sooryan has done a fantastic job of capturing the lorry and car chase sequences. This resembles his bus scene in Theeran Adhigaram Ondru again with Karthi. Fast dolly shots while focusing on Karthi’s eye and face add a touch of uniqueness to the stunt scenes which sets it apart from other action movies. 

Sam CS

Lokesh manages to fit in Karthi’s tragic past by way of Dilli narrating it while the camera just switches between him and Kamatchi. This helps the film stay linear in its narration and avoids unnecessary flashbacks which might drag the film. In the second half, I felt some masala moments which could’ve easily been avoided with much simpler writing. But Lokesh has structured this script quite similar to his first film Maanagaram which also did have several unrelated people from different walks of life. After a while towards the second half the screenplay seems to get slightly monotonous which can easily be look past. 

Towards the end we get a glorified shootout by Dilli using a minigun followed by the climax which is just as expected. But despite its minor flaws and blemishes in its writing and screenplay it’s still a very refreshing watch and one of the best Tamil movies in recent times. 

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