“Kaithi”… Lokesh Kanagaraj crafts a sturdy (but generic) star vehicle for Karthi

Posted on October 26, 2019


There’s a fantastic “mass” scene, set around a swimming pool, where the protagonist stuffs himself with biriyani — it’s a stunning few minutes of a purely physical performance.

Spoilers ahead…

You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/kaithi-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-karthi-lokesh-kanagaraj-narain-george-maryan/

Kaithi is Lokesh Kanagaraj’s follow-up to the superb Maanagaram, and the writer-director continues where he left off. Once again, we have a focused narrative without songs — but with borrowed film songs. If a character from the earlier film was from Trichy, the city is where this entire film is set. Both films take place over the course of a single night. But most importantly, we have the cross-hatched structure — the screenplay is so precisely split between various narrative threads that it’s impossible to see where the writing stops and where the editing begins. Are we witnessing the birth of an auteur?

I’d say we’ll have to wait a while. Because Kaithi is a much more (intentionally) dumbed-down movie. Lokesh gives away everything in the set-up. The plot is about cops and druglords and a huge consignment of cocaine. We know not just that there are moles on both sides, but also who these moles are. We see bounty hunters and an older version of the Hollywood trope of a rookie cop (named Napoleon and played by an excellent George Maryan) — and he’s surrounded by a bunch of hapless engineering students. We know that a little girl in a destitute home is waiting for an “important person” who will come in the morning, and of course, we know this important person (Dilli, played by Karthi) is the prisoner the film is named after.

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil