Just like in 'The Great Indian Kitchen', Jeo Baby, treats his subject with a lot of empathy and explores a new kind of queer narrative in Indian cinema, that evolves from being just a coming out drama to a societal drama while not losing sight of its protagonists and their internal struggles.
Homosexuality is an extremely complicated issue and it gives rise to convoluted relationships and emotions. 'Kaathal' is aware of the multiplicity of people and the layers that exist in a relationship marred by the act of hiding or pretending for years.
Divorce disrupts their lives and creates a lot of tension between them and in society, it does not mean that she does not love him. Through the process of the divorce and Mathew's acceptance, they both come to love each other in a deeper more understanding manner.
Jeo Baby masterfully crafts the tension that emerges when we talk about things that are not meant to be spoken of. For the first half of the film words like homosexuality or gay are not spoken but implied through glances or dialogue.
While Mammooty and Sudhi Kozhikode give fantastic performances as well, Jyothika is mesmerizing on screen. She gives a performance that is filled with restraint and understanding.
Not a lot of queer narratives have a positive ending, however, Kaathal gives us hope for a new accepting society and a trust in humanity.
Thank you for Reading!