Call it breath-taking, stunning or out-of-the-world. Any amount of appreciation would fit well for this film. Bala, considered the maverick director of Tamil cinema believes in quality rather than quantity and has come up with a film that spells both charm as well as fear on you.
Technically rich visuals, soul-stirring songs and splendid re-recording apart from top-notch performances by the artistes make 'Naan Kadavul'.
In the recent past, there were very few films that cast a spell on the audience. Novel themes and innovative storylines virtually dried up in Tamil Cinema. Been in the making for over three years, Bala has come out with a movie that is strikingly different from the rest. Certainly several notches above the rest.
The dark realities of our lives, which we have never bothered to know until now, have been pictured realistically by Bala. The life among 'Agori' Sadhus, the troubled life of blind beggars controlled by the mafia and the lives of mentally-challenged people have been narrated in a way that is new to Tamil Cinema.
Bala, who proved his mettle with films like Sethu, Nandha and Pithamagan, has gone on to greater heights with Naan Kadavul. The lives of saffron clad Sadhus have been poignantly brought out in the first half, while the screen goes red towards the latter part.
Bala, who has chiselled the actor in Vikram and Suriya, has taken all pain and efforts to bring out the real and true actor in Arya. He succeeds in his mission at the very word go.
In a nutshell, the movie is about a father (Azhagam Thamizhmani), who goes in search of his son to Kasi. Several years ago he leaves his son in Kasi for spiritual and astrological amends. The boy grows up in the midst of saadhus.
Called as Rudhran (Arya) grows up to be a rough and tough man, whose life is unique and different from others. After his father's persuasion, he comes back to his native village where he comes across a bad guy Muthalali (Rajendran), who controls a beggar mafia. Muthalali exploits physically-challenged old people and children for this purpose.
A visually-impaired poor girl Amsavalli (Pooja) is forced to join the gang. She along with others is forced to go and beg in many pilgrim centers by the don. Eventually it is up to Rudhran to take cudgels against them and rescue them.
Bala scores straightaway with a poignant and touchy narration in the beginning which slowly picks up momentum to end as carnage. Arya with his frightening looks and immaculate body language brings out an animal before us. His rugged looks complimented by his rustic performance add value to the movie. His performance towards the climax will be remembered for years to come.
Pooja as a blind beggar stuns one with her performance. Hitherto seen as a glam doll, she has come up with loads of expressions and is sure to make the industry look back at her as an actress, who can deliver emotional outbursts at ease.
Equally impressive are Azhagam Thamizhmani and Rajendran. The typical Balaisms are visible in every character in the movie. A whole lot of the cast includes Sadhus and beggars who fit their roles well.
Arthur Wilson's camera is sheer poetry. His capturing on lens the crowded Kasi and the ruthless struggles of Rudhran deserves appreciation. What can be said about maestro Illayaraja. Not just his songs but his extraordinary re-recording brings the right feel to the whole film.
Jayamohan has added strength with his delicate dialogues. Though very few in the film, they are hard-hitting and sensible.
Kudos to producer Sreenivasan for sponsoring such a bold attempt. All said, it is a Bala special loaded with his trademark style and mannerism. Though many scenes are devoid of logic, Bala's magic makes us forget them.
In one word, Naan Kadavul is a movie to cherish and celebrate.
Listen to 'Naan Kadavul' songs (Downlodable) on raaga.com Now....