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Kanthaswamy Review

Review- Kanthasamy
Producer- Kalaipuli.S.Thanu
Director- Susi Ganeshan
Cast- Vikram, Shriya, Prabhu, Ashish Vidyarthi, Vadivelu etc
Written by : Susi Ganesan
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
Distributed By : Kalaipuli International
Budget : Rs.80 crores
Review by : selvabalaji.wordpress.com

So, what do you expect from ‘Kanthasamy’, the latest film from Chiyaan Vikram? Obviously a film where Vikram dons a mask (the posters make us understand that) and leads a crusade against the baddies in our society. And your expectations, if it’s on these lines, is justified, 100 percent. And ‘Kanthasamy’ is shot on a big budget, extensively on foreign locations and in style. Yes, style it is. And substance? That of course is a question rather difficult to answer.

Well coming to the movie. It all begins from a temple dedicated to Kanthasamy (another name of Lord Muruga) in a small town in Tamil Nadu where you can submit your pleas and plaints in the form of letters which you can tie on to a tree. The temple is flocked by hundreds, especially the poor and the needy, who are on the look-out for an end to their worries. And each one of these hundreds of thousands of pleas is taken care of. Our hero, Kanthasamy IPS (Vikram), who’s working with the CBI, sees to it that these grievances are all redressed. He dons a mask and the get-up of a rooster, and strutting around like one, appears, mostly in the night, flying around, fighting et al and grabbing from the extremely rich the money that they had earned by unfair means and then ensures that these, packed in small bags, reaches the hands of the needy and the poor. Assisted by a group of his friends, all of them working in government departments that deals with detecting and amassing illegally earned money, Kanthasamy IPS goes about conducting raids on the baddies (typical filmi baddies, especially the Shankar brand of baddies), busting with a hammer the places where the illegal money is hidden. But nobody knows the connection between Kanthasamy IPS and the Kanthasamy who redresses the grievances of the people. It’s in this context that the DIG of police Paranthaman (Prabhu) takes it upon himself to nab the person who’s behind all this. So it’s now the cop versus the hero. And into this comes in our heroine, Subbalakshmi (Shriya), who is the daughter of one of the baddies, played by Ashish Vidyarthi.

Well, a good subject for a masala flick, with enough scope for all ingredients too. To some extent Susi Ganeshan and team had worked it out well. But there are places where we feel disgusted with the proceedings and the film, as a whole, doesn’t seem great work. On day one, in a theatre in Ernakulam, a young guy was seen texting a message to a friend, just about thirty minutes into the movie- “Am watching Kanthasamy…paisa muthalaavum (worth your money)…come watch Shriya…”. At that point he was right. But at a later stage, well past the interval, didn’t I see the very same guy tending to yawn and looking all exhausted? You even seem to be wondering what Shriya is doing in the movie. You have seen it all before, it seems at certain points. And some scenes are simply unimpressive. Vadivelu is not bad, but some of his scenes have gone waste. And the scene where Vikram appears in a feminine get-up, there’s nothing outstanding about it at all. Doesn’t it seem disgusting too? Well, there are some flashy, well shot sequences that leave you wonder struck. There are beautiful locales that are filmed impressively. But on the whole, the film is no outstanding work at all. Just so so. Nothing compared to ‘Anniyan’. And even ‘Bheema’ was better. Was wondering why the people of Kerala throng theatres to watch ‘Kanthasamy’ in such large numbers (the turn out on day one at all centres was great, something that you would like to call ‘terrific’) while they don’t seem to care a whit for better-made films like ‘Nadodigal’. Of course Tamilians need to be appreciated because if they throng the theatres to see such mass entertainers, they also show the same enthusiasm for seeing films like ‘Nadodigal’, ‘Subrahmaniyapuram’, ‘Autograph’ etc. This incidentally reminded me of a group of young guys in a small town in our ‘educated’, ‘elite’ Kerala dancing drunkenly and then going for a fist-fight with the theatre management, all during the song “Kangal irandaal…” in ‘Subrahmaniyapuram’, while their counterparts in Tamil Nadu had the sensibility to enjoy and relish the song and the movie as a whole itself.

Performances

Vikram has given a good performance as Kanthasamy. A dedicated actor that he is, he has attempted to do full justice to the role. But this definitely is not his best and nowhere near his performance in ‘Anniyan’ or ‘Sethu’. Shriya is good and adds to the oomph factor too with her dance numbers and all. It’s really great that our directors don’t need to go seeking other actresses for the ‘Oomph’ factor when the heroines can do it themselves. Prabhu is just about OK and has nothing much to do. Ashish Vidyarthi is his usual self. And so is Vadivelu.

Technical aspects

Technically the film is no doubt a treat to watch. Cinematography by Ekambaran is excellent. And art-director Thotta Tharani has done a brilliant job. Editing, costume-designing etc deserve mention.

Music

The background score is fine, but the songs are just about OK. Vikram anyhow has proved himself a good singer. ‘Excuse me, Mr. Kanthasamy…”, “Meow, Meow…” etc are no doubt trendy, but won’t have a long life. The songs have been visualised in the most flashy of manners.

Script

Nothing much to say about the script, penned by Susi Ganeshan himself. It’s all just average and usual. He could have worked it out better.

Direction

Coming to direction, it seems Susi, groomed under Mani Rathinam, has tried going the Shankar way to make am impact at the box office (’Kanthasamy’ no doubt will earn him more mileage than his earlier three films) and has eventually landed up being neither here nor there. Of course he is well in control of things and have filmed things the way he wanted them to be. But he seems a bit confused about his way of filmmaking. Susi anyhow has given a good performance as an actor, appearing in a guest-like role.

Overall verdict- Time pass…Stylish, but not outstanding

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