After the enjoyable rom-com Vanakkam Chennai, director Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi is back with her sophomore film, Kaali, which stars Vijay Antony and four heroines – Anjali, Sunaina, Shilpa Manjunath and Amritha.

Plot: Bharath (Vijay Antony) is a doctor working in the USA, where he has set up a medical center. After recurring nightmares about his past and a medical emergency involving his mother, he finds out that the people he considers his biological parents had actually adopted him. He decides to take a trip to Tamil Nadu to find out the truth about his roots.

What works:
  • This is yet another good outing for comedian Yogi Babu, who accompanies Vijay Antony on his travels throughout the film. Yogi has a unique style, which he sticks to in the film.
  • Kaali doesn’t fall in the dark space that one generally associates with Vijay Antony’s films. Motherly sentiment is a common theme in most of his films, and these emotions click well in the early part of Kaali too. The director and DoP Richard Nathan have captured the expressions of the baby playing Vijay Antony naturally.
  • Don’t go in expecting the usual double or triple roles – Kiruthiga’s idea to present Vijay Antony in various avatars is interesting. The film has many flashback sequences that occur around the same time period. There, consistency is maintained, thanks to the director and supporting actors.
  • Vijay Antony also scores as a composer, delivering good melodies like ‘Arumbey’ and ‘Nooraai’. Both songs are already popular.
  • Of the heroines, Shilpa Manjunath has a feisty part and appears confident.
What doesn’t:
  • A proven performer like Anjali isn’t given her due in this film. Kaali will be a forgettable outing for her fans.
  • Other established actors like Nasser, Jayaprakash, Madhusoodhanan, Vela Ramamoorthy and RK Suresh also don’t get to showcase much. Ramamoorthy and Suresh are now getting typecast in film after film.
  • Most of the film is set against a rural backdrop, with the flashback scenes set in the 1980s. The melodramatic treatment of some recurring rural themes like caste-based discrimination feels outdated.
Final word: Kaali has an interesting plot about a man in search of his roots. With so many noteworthy names part of the project, the execution and final output could’ve been better.

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