Director: Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi
Cast: Vijay Antony, Sunainaa, Shilpa Manjunath, Amritha and Jayaprakash
There’s something about Vijay Antony and his choice of scripts. Unlike his contemporaries, he hasn’t tried to fit in as a commercial hero. He’s consciously chosen films within his own league which have worked in his favour most of the times. Therefore, his films such as Pichaikkaran, Saithan, Yaman and Annadurai can’t be merely written off as commercial films. Kaali, too, falls in the same league and even though story-wise it’s outdated, it’s a heartwarming drama about pursuit of truth.
The plot revolves around Bharat, played by Vijay Antony, a renowned doctor in the States. Every night, he’s haunted by the same dream and he believes it has something to do with his life as a child. He learns through an incident that he was adopted by his current parents and leaves to India to track his biological parents. The events that follow form the crux of the story.
The basic premise is borrowed from Dev Patel’s Lion, but Kiruthiga treats it in a way to suit Tamil sensibilities. For Kiruthiga, quite a departure from her last film and she proves herself as a solid commercial filmmaker. It’s a myth that a woman filmmaker can’t handle action, but Kiruthiga shows she’s no less than any regular male commercial director.
Vijay Antony shines in multiple roles, making us root for every character he portrays. He still struggles to emote in crucial emotional scenes, but is quite good in action sequences. One particular action scene, shot in a forest, really stands out.
Kaali does suffer from a very dull narrative at times, making us feel that it’s stuck in the 80s with its treatment, especially the whole caste angle which is unbearable to say the least. But this is a minor grudge in an otherwise effective drama.