KADHALUM KADANTHU POGUM (2016)

KADHALUM KADANTHU POGUM (2016)

Casts: Vijay Sethupathi, Madonna Sebastian, Samuthirakani
Music: Santosh Narayanan
Language: Tamil
Genre: Comedy
Kollywood has seen a remarkable, healthy change in the past 3 years and Nalan Kumarasamy is one of the significant game changer. After the stupendous success of ‘Soodhu Kavvum’, all eyes were on his next and to everyone’s excitement, Vijay Sethupathi teamed up with him for the second time. Being a remake of a Korean film, ‘My Dear Desperado’,Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum’ (Ka Ka Po) is one of the most expected films of the year. So will the duo strike gold again?

Synopsis
Yazhini (Madonna), a fresh graduate, sets off from Vizhipuram to Chennai in search of a stable job. She resides in an apartment where she meets a carefree, sharp-tongued henchman, Kathir (Vijay Sethupathi). Sparking with a rift at first, their relationship starts to bloom from sour to a sweet companionship.

Story Screenplay
The beauty of the film is the simple and down to earth characters and scenes. ‘Ka Ka Po’ might not be as extensively detailed or innovative as ‘Soodhu Kavvum’ but comparison is immaterial here. This film has it’s own strength that is the simple and realistic screenplay. In fact, Nalan flexes his character crafting skills in this film.

Not entirely a comedy or a romantic film, ‘Ka Ka Po’ touches both the genre conventions on the surface and focuses more on telling a story about two contrasting characters.  The undefined relationship both the lead characters have is the sweetest take away of the film. Any other filmmaker might have turned that into clear romantic angle but Nalan breaks all these conventions the audiences might expect. Vijay Sethupathi’s character’s unpredictability of the response in situations adds on to the engaging factor of the film. The scene where he goes to the bar with full confidence to beat up the rowdies and return back hit with that same confidence is a scream! Nalan’s flawed lead characters also anchor the realism of the film. Except the ‘Ka Ka Ka Po’ song, Nalan does not really step out of the realistic world he has created for the audience. Even if he shows problems or struggle of the modern society, there is cheekiness to it. Again, Nalan stamps the point that life is too short to stay negative.

On the flipside, the supporting roles and the sub plots of Vijay Sethupathi’s rowdy gang, does not really pick up. Therefore, when that track gets focused in the climax, the audience might not invest their emotions on the stakes as much as they would invest on the main plot between the two lead characters. If the story could have focused more on developing the relationship between Vijay Sethupathi and Madonna, the emotional attachment with the film could have been better. The film opens and ends with a diegetic narration of Madonna but again sounds abrupt, unnecessary and inconsistent. The screenplay is relatively slow to take in but engages us with excellently timed dialogues. All these somehow restricts the film a little to become a sheer, feel good classic.

All said, Nalan compensates these by an emotional yet a simple climax that will definitely make you leave the cinema with a smile laced with tears.

Casting & Performance
Vijay Sethupathi steals the show again by executing a crude, merciless but memorable character. Be it his dialogue delivery or posture, he creates a well-defined one and stays in it throughout. Like mentioned earlier, his unpredictability is his charm. The scenes where he shows his frustration on his gang leader for not helping him to succeed in life despite going to jail for him are traces of a brilliant matured performer.

Madonna is almost on par with Vijay Sethupathi with her controlled, subtle performance. Despite several lip sync issues, Madonna carries a complex role very well and makes a pleasant debut in Kollywood.

Other characters are not really defined and have the scope to perform. Samuthirakani who comes in just a couple of scenes, seems a little wasted. But watch out for Ramesh Thilak’s pleasant cameo too.

Technicality

Technically, Nalan keeps it simple but yet throws in his innovative eye for visuals and sound here and there.

Dinesh Krishnan captures the simple story through raw camera movements and saturated colours. He has given what is necessary for the story without going over board.

Santosh Narayanan’s BGM and songs are another plus to the film. More than just for entertainment, his songs move the narration and acts as a cheeky commentary on the situations presented. The way Nalan presents ‘Ka Ka Ka Po’ song, as a sub conscious symbol of the characters is simply creative! Near perfect sound mixing and editing also adds on to the intimate cinematic experience the film gives.

Despite moving a little slow, editor Leo John Paul has laced the film in a linear and straightforward manner.

All technical departments have worked hard to treat the realistic screenplay as unpretentious as possible.





Bottomline
'Ka Ka Po' is a feel good, 'slice of life' film that will make you smile and cry with its charming subtlety.

Verdict:

Rating:  3.5/5

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