Katha Nayagan (English: Lead Hero) is a 2017 Indian Tamil romantic action comedy film written and directed by Tha. Muruganantham. Produced by Vishnu, the film also features him in the lead role alongside Catherine Tresa. There is a guest appearance of Vijay Sethupathi in the film that makes it even more special for the audience. Featuring music composed by Sean Roldan, the venture began production in September 2016. The film is released on 8 September 2017 and was receiving mixed reviews from the film critics and audience.
In Kathanayagan, Vishnu Vishal plays Thambidurai, a revenue inspector who is afraid of many things — from dogs to crossing the road or taking on goondas. It is this nature of his that lands him in trouble. He falls in love with Kanmani (Catherine Tresa), but her father (K Natraj, who is Vishnu’s real-life father-in-law) doesn’t approve of him as he is a coward. How does Thambidurai turn a hero in the eyes of this man and win the hand of Kanmani?
Perhaps it was the success of Velainnu Vanthutta Vellakkaran that made Vishnu Vishal pick Kathanayagan. Like that film, this one, too, is content to coast along on a bunch of comic scenes, hoping that the audience wouldn’t mind the uninteresting filler scenes between these set-pieces. However, while Velainnu Vanthutta Vellakkaran managed to do that, here, there is so much dead air between the comedy scenes that we get restless. All that Muruganandham uses are references to older films, and a few gags that don’t really seem funny when you think of them again. In fact, we laugh a little more for the comedy than we should because the rest of it is quite boring.
The first half, which involves Thambidurai wooing Kanmani with the help of Annadurai (Soori), is all been-there-seen-that. Things start picking up only at the interval point, and a bar fight that is staged with the right kind of fun, sets things up for a second half that is better, if uneven.
What makes us stick until the end us is the spoofy tone, which keeps assuring us that the next comedy scene is just around the corner. Quirky characters like that of Anandraj (as a wealthy Sheikh) and Mottai Rajendran (he plays a singer and gets to sing some of the chartbusters, which is one of the gags that works) inject fun. Even here, there is a detour in the form of a mistake at a hospital, which leads to a Vijay Sethupathi cameo that sounds fun, but isn’t so on screen. To the film’s credit, things start to get funnier towards the end ensuring that we don’t leave the theatre disappointed. But, should we, the audiences, be satisfied with this ‘this will do’ attitude?
Directed by Tha. Muruganantham
Produced by Vishnu Vishal & Rajini Natraj
Written by Tha. Muruganantham
Starring Vishnu, Catherine Tresa, Anandaraj, Soori
Music by Sean Roldan
Cinematography J. Laxman
Edited by R. Sridharan
Production Vishnu Vishal Studioz
Distributed by Fox Star Studios
Release date 8 September 2017
Running time 116 minutes