Kala Movie Review, ‘Not’ Starring Tovino Thomas: A Brutal, Visceral Duel Where Violence Becomes Poetry

Films become famous among people for many different reasons. It could be the cast and crew, music, story or the making. However, in certain cases, some films are able to attract the audience because of the action and fight sequences they offer to the viewers. At times, it’s these action sequences that play a pivotal role in continuing the narrative of the film and it’s very important for these sequences to be perfect and flawless. One such film that had some brilliant action sequences is the 2021 Malayalam film, Kala, which has Tovino Thomas and Sumesh Moor in the pivotal roles.

The film tells us the story of Shaji, played by Tovino, and his family, and an outsider who enters his residential premises. There are multiple fight sequences in this film, especially in the second half, where the narrative moves forward mainly through fights rather than dialogues. The fight sequences between Tovino and Moor are raw and realistic, as well as disturbing to watch at times. The action directors for the film, Irfan Ameer and Basidh Al Gazzali, have made sure that there is a rawness and naturalism in these sequences.

Also read: Kala, Where Violence Becomes Poetry

The style of fight is very primitive, which includes the usage of traditional locks and applying force on pressure points to escape from the clutches of each other. There are no cinematic flying punches or kicks, no sequences of grabbing the opponent by his collar and throwing him several feet away. This film depicts action in a highly realistic manner. It is designed in such a way that the fights resemble the rage and anger a normal human possesses when forced to fight an enemy. There is an instance in the film where Tovino’s lungi comes off during a fight sequence. Usually in movies, the hero performs all sorts of fight moves, but his dhoti never falls off. Even with a very minute detail like the lungi falling off, Kala makes its fight sequences as natural as possible.

A man when pushed onto the ground would naturally look to grab something and smash the opponent rather than performing a highly complex move and pinning the opponent down. The “grabbing something and smashing the opponent” is exactly the type of action sequences there are in Kala. They get so intense at times that we are eager to know if one of them has succumbed to the injuries during the fights. The visuals of these fight sequences are disturbing and gut-wrenching as well.

These scenes are designed in such a way that each blow the individual receives and each move the fighters make tells the viewers about the nature of the characters. In this film, Tovino’s character, Shaji, is a civilised man who is educated and hence his style of fighting is more rational. However, on the other hand, the character portrayed by Moor is one who has been dwelling in forests and woody regions, and hence his sources of inspiration are animals, whose characteristics are visible when he performs each move in the fight scenes.

The makers, especially director Rohith VS, cinematographer Akhil George and editor Chaman Chakko, also deserve a lot of praise for making the action sequences as raw and realistic as envisioned by the action directors. Kala truly is a film that has its heart and soul in its fights, because almost the entire second half of the film runs forward with these absolutely brilliant action scenes. It is a highly difficult task to continue a film’s narrative only with the support of action, but Kala manages to do that perfectly. It surely is a film that deserves to be watched for these absolutely stunning sequences.

The Fights In Kala: Raw, Realistic And Devoid Of Cinematic Gimmicks, Film Companion

Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.

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