Kaaval is a 2015 Indian Tamil action movie based on a true story, written and directed by Nagendran R. It stars Vimal, Samuthirakani and ‘Punnagai Poo’ Gheetha, who is also the co-producer. The film, which was initially titled Nee Yellam Nalla Varuvada, was started in 2013 and released on 26 June 2015.
At a time when horror-comedy flicks are ruling the roost, director Nagendran has taken up an action filled crime subject and by and large succeeds in presenting his film ‘Kaaval’ as a gripping good vs evil tale with shades of real life incidents. The director deserves credits also for giving an encounter specialist film without star value and larger than life heroes and not failing to make the right impact. ‘Kaaval’ aspires to warn us about the rise in the number of killers who take a life just for want of money remind us to recognize the sacrifices done by a few upright police officers in nabbing them The initial voice over with the voice of director Gautam Vasudev Menon with details about murders happened in the past 15 years makes us were the seat belt with interest.
Karna (Deva) is a contract killer and also the emperor of a seaside slum in Chennai. He is highly influential as he takes up assignments from all powerful people in the in the city including ministers. His area police station is under his control as he gives a share of his income from every assignment to the policemen in the station, as bribe.
Samuthirakani takes charge of the police station and forms a team of officers to kill him. He chalks out an encounter plan to kill Karna at his place but misses his target as Anbu (Vemal), the son of one of the corrupt police officers at the station (M.S.Basker) alerts Karna.
Samuthirakani then uses Anbu and his friends (without their knowledge) to bring Karna out of hiding. Knowing this, Karna mistakes Anbu & friends of having betrayed him and is on the run to kill them. Whether Samuthirakani and team kill Karna and bring down the shutters of his empire? What happens to Anbu and his friends? The answers for these questions are narrated with lots of action and thrill. Nagendran has done in depth research on the lifestyle of contract killers and their ways and means of carrying out their assignments. The weapons they use, the food they eat and their celebrations are captured in detail. On the other hand he has also given a heart touching account of sacrifices made by upright police officers in fighting these anti-social elements and also the internal pressures they face within the department. The pre-interval sequence which deals with the planning of encounter and its execution takes us to the edge of the seat. The momentum is maintained well until the policemen kill another person mistaking him as Karna. After that the script drags and scenes that follow seem amateurish and thrust.
The objectionable aspect is the way the human rights activists are portrayed in the film. Though the writer/director is convinced that killing of killers is not sin, he need have shown those who advocate human rights in such a poor light. Romance between Anbu and Amudha (Punnagai Poo Geetha) is okay but they are overdosed and slacken the pace of the film at time. Comic portions fall flat. Songs just come and go as speed breakers throughout the film and composer G.V.Prakash fails to make it pleasant to the ears. He has however not let down the film in BGM. At a time when slum dwellers are show in positive light in films like ‘Madras’ and ‘Kaakka Muttai’ helping the people outside get a holistic understanding about them it’s a disappointment that this film brushes all of them with the same paint A dialogue that says every house in the slum has an aide of Karna could have been avoided for better. Nagendran has penned some sharp dialogues that express the danger of contract killers who kill strangers just for money without caring anything about the life which is lost. Some verses uttered by Samuthirakani do really make us understand the plight of honest officers in police department. But at times the dialogues get preachy tone and that could have been avoided.
It won’t be an overstatement to say that Samuthirakani has carried the film on his shoulder. He has proved that he is no inferior as a hero in enacting stunts, dialogue delivery and expressions. And thank god the director did not force anything in the script to support his hero image. He does not even have a love interest in the film. There is nothing challenging for Vemal in this film as he comes across as a careless and selfish youngster. ‘Punnagai poo’ Geetha (also the producer of the film) is passable as a heroine. M.S.Basker is at his usual best as a carefree and corrupt police officer who falls at the feet of criminals for bribe and a caring father who fears for the life of his son. Deva as the ruthless villain has utilized the opportunity to become a prominent face in Tamil silver screen. N.K.Ekambaran has captured the slum and killer network in a realistic manner.Editing of Praveen K.L. could have been crisper and clear that too in the sequences leading to climax. The film apart from its shortcomings deserves praise for its content and chilling presentation backed by deep analysis.
Directed by Nagendran R.
Produced by ‘Punnagai Poo’ Gheetha Philip Sheetal
Written by Nagendran R.
Starring Vimal, Samuthirakani, ‘Punnagai Poo’ Gheetha
Music by G. V. Prakash Kumar (soundtrack) Dharan Kumar (score)
Cinematography N. K. Ekambaram
Edited by Praveen K. L.
Production SG Films
Release dates 26 June 2015