Kadhal Kasakuthaiya (English: Love Feels Bitter) is a 2017 Indian Tamil romantic drama film written and directed by Dwarakh Raja. Featuring Dhruvva and Venba in the lead roles, the film also has veteran actors Charle and Kalpana in pivotal roles. The film began production during mid-2016 and was released on 8 September 2017 to mixed reviews from critics.
Kadhal Kasakkuthaya is a conflicted film, one that cannot make up its mind on where it stands. The film’s plot deals with a school-going minor romancing a mid-20s guy. While the film is aware of the absurdity of such a romance, it also wants us to empathise with its female lead and see things from her point of view. This would not have been a problem if the writing had been strong, but here, we are left with uneven scenes that either uses this romance for laughs or for melodrama.
Right from the moment when Diya (Venba), a Class 12 student, proposes to Arjun (Dhruva), a 25-year-old, we find it hard to buy the events in the film. The 2014 Malayalam film Om Shanthi Oshaana, too, had a similar coming-of-age romance at its core, but there, we got a solid reason — the hero steps in when she is about to be attacked by a group of men, which impresses her. All that we get here to establish Diya’s interest in Arjun are scenes showing him smoking like a train.
The saving grace is the film’s self-awareness. Dwarakh understands the oddity of such a romance and uses the hero’s two friends to take a dig at it. Even Arjun finds it hard to accept Diya’s proposal initially, likening themselves to “Complan boy” and “Cerelac girl”. The comic possibilities are not exploited to their fullest.
There are some moments that strike a chord — like when Diya’s friend asks her if she ever considers her father’s point of view, or when her father talks about the influence of cinema on impressionable minds. The latter is a bit ironical because you see Charle, who has played characters helping the hero’s romance innumerable times, saying so. However, even these aren’t developed in a hard-hitting manner.
There is also a sub-plot involving Arjun’s comatose mother (the late Kalpana), which hardly makes us care. For, most of the time, the writing seems unable to maintain a rhythm resulting in an uneven film that is engaging only in bit and parts.
Directed by Dwarakh Raja
Produced by V. Mathiyalagan & R Ramya
Starring Dhruvva, Venba
Music by Dharan Kumar
Cinematography Balaji Subramaniam
Edited by Muniez
Production Etcetera Entertainment
Release date 8 September 2017