(Kaithi is one of the best Tamil action movies for 2019 with a very solid storyline, background music and acting. Image source: IMDB)
It is not often I am ready to spend money to watch Tamil movies in the cinema and it is for obvious reasons – loose & illogical storyline, some of dumbest heroines and out of place song sequences. It is very rare to see a really good Tamil movie these days.
Some of the Tamil movies that I have tolerated and paid to watch it in the local cinemas remain rare and few – Bahubali: The Conclusion (this is because we were dying to know why Kattappa backstabbed Bahubali) and Petta (this is because it was directed by the brilliant Karthik Subbaraj) was good to watch.
So when the family wanted to watch Karthi’s latest movie over the last weekend – Kaithi, I was sceptical at first. I had predicted I would be sleeping most of the time as I had the same low expectations.
The starting scene started off slow but once we got into the motion, this movie simply blew me away.
The premise of this movie started off with the usual story – Inspector Bejoy (talented Narain from Ajathey) and his special police team pull off one of the largest drug bust belonging to a ruthless gangster. The leader of the gang is unknown and remains a mystery so much so even the police informant who had been undercover for Inspector Bejoy. The one that is running the gang, for now, is the leader’s younger brother.
Knowing that the criminal gang will try to recapture the drugs, Inspector Bejoy hides the drugs in an underground bunker of the police station located in an old British building. Unknown to everyone, the mysterious gang leader is actually been caught and is held in the lockup in the same police station.
Using a string of rogue policemen and informant, the criminal gang also got the names of the 5 policemen who pulled off the drug bust and intends to kill them all so that other policemen would be afraid to go against them the next time. Half of the gang members were sent to the IG’s house to seek the 5 policemen who have been made unconscious after consuming poisoned drinks.
Bejoy who avoided the drinks as he was under medication, escapes from the cruel plan and tries to save the lives of all the unconscious police officials without letting the media or anyone else from the outside finding out.
The other half of the gang is sent to the police station to seek the drugs that were held hidden.
Having a short of hand to bring the unconscious police officials safely to the hospital for treatment, Bejoy had no choice but to enlist Dilli (Karthi), an ex-convict who happened to be there with him as he was detained for looking suspicious on his way to see his daughter who he has not seen for 10 years, to help him save the police officers’ lives by promising him that he will help Dilli meet his daughter for the first time the next morning
With the help of a truck borrowed from Kamatchi, who is a caterer at the higher official’s mansion. Dilli, Bejoy, and Kamatchi together load the unconscious bodies of the officials on the truck and get them to the hospital as soon as possible without letting the gangsters get their bodies.
As another group under the same gangster tries to break into the police station where the drugs are hidden, a group of innocent college students along with a yet to join police station, Constable Napoleon acted brilliantly by George Maryan.
The other policemen had sensed something is wrong and decided to escape before the gangsters run over the police station. The students together with Constable Napoleon who are trapped inside the police station forced to take instructions from Bejoy over the phone and try to keep the gangsters outside the police station at the cost of their own lives while they wait for Dilli and Bejoy to arrive at their rescue.
(One of the best images from the movie – the lone Constable Napoleon in the police station, about to face 15-20 angry bloodthirsty gangsters forcing themselves through the front door. The moonlighting is impressive. Image source: IMDB)
The Plus Points
Kaithi was destined to be a good movie for 2 main immediate reasons – there is no sideshow heroine in this action movie and there is no romance song sequence. Any action movies without these 2 time-wasting elements are already considered an improved movie.
Then there is the storyline – it happens all in one night and each of the scenes is well spaced out. Not an easy task when there are two parallel stories taking place – gangsters out to kill the 5 policemen who are on the run and gangsters intend to get back the drugs stored in the police station.
Director Lokesh gives the right amount of frustration to the viewers with the gangsters winning & the good guys losing like Anbu the gang leader’s brother managing to break into the police station and killing one of the college students and the rogue policeman backstabbing Dilli just when he is about-face the gang’s key henchmen.
After the frustration builds up to a point you want to jump into the scene and do something, Lokesh gives us back the best comeback – on Anbu, Constable Napoleon takes a fire extinguisher and whacks Anbu on the face, killing him instantly and on the rogue policeman, he gets the medicine of his own with Dilli after finishing the other gangsters off, stabs the policeman back.
Sathyan Sooryan who is the cinematographer did a brilliant job of capturing the moments with the limited room and the right lighting.
For a movie that does not have song scenes, Kaithi packed one of the best background music that I have heard so far – simple, effective and right on the dot of events taking place in the storyline. I will definitely vote Sam C.S. for the best music director of the year 2019 award.
Watch out for the ending scene in Kaithi where Dilli will meet up with his long lost daughter – you will see the side of Karthi that you have not seen before – it was just pure honest, emotional and real.
(One of the best way of introducing a hero – a convict with handcuffs who have just been released from prison and all he wants to do first among the chaos happening around him is to eat briyani, plenty of it. Image source: IMDB)
The Minus Points
Even though there are minor minus points, it can be easily ignored in Kaithi because of the other plus points in the movie. In terms of storyline, there are 3 minor points that could be addressed properly if the Kaithi movie makers have taken their time:-
One: Towards the end when Bejoy calls up Dilli from the ambulance to see his daughter, the fact that Dilli was stabbed in the back several times seems to be conveniently ignored. Some reviewers suggested that this scene could have better positioned if Dilli had just come out from surgery to treat his wounds.
Two: The fact that was made that the gangsters were unable to break into the police station because the building was an old building from the British era. If they are referring to the underground tunnels (where they hide the drugs), then it makes sense. But if they are referring to the toughness of the building, should it be the other way around? Shouldn’t the building be old by now?
Third: The back injuries sustained by Dilli from all the backstabbings – how he can be alive to not only save Bejoy but also those in the police station?
(Very glad that the moviemakers decided to pick Karthi for the main lead instead of Mansur Ali Khan although it would have been interesting to see how that movie would have turned out. Image source: IMDB)
In Kaithi, director Lokesh kept the storyline to the core, precise & focused and keep us on the edge – giving enough frustrations on the villain’s gains and then whacks back with a good comeback. Sam C S’ background was a killer and I can’t wait to hear the full Kaithi soundtrack on its own. Acting by all the actors was right on the queue – no overacting; expressions suited the scenes and well-spaced out even though there are big names.
THIS IS HOW ALL ACTION MOVIES SHOULD BE MADE.
P.s. nice touch on George Maryan character as Constable Napoleon and wise decision to change the choice of the lead role from Mansur Ali Khan to Karthi