Kireedam is a sensible and sincere attempt at realistic entertainment. And after a long time, Ajith looks very cool and relaxed --- actually a throwback to his hey days --- and showcases his undoubted histrionic talent with spunk. Trisha, as an impish college girl, shines and brings to fore her growing felicity with comedy.
But the film is not about the funny bone; it deals with a tender and touching relationship between a father and son. A dream that a doting dad has for his ward and how fate undoes all the desires through a catena of compelling events forms the bulwark of this sturdy story.
A remake of the Malayalam hit of the 80s, the film scores because its core is about humanism and the values that bond all cultured beings. Kireedam is a commercial movie, alright. But there is no over-the-top heroic stuff that undid all the recent Ajith movies. Kireedam's strength is its low-key elegance, and letting honesty of life take over. Ajith has consciously avoided the pitfalls of his previous movies and dishes out a delightful performance.
The natural bonding between a father and son is brought out spontaneously by Ajith and Raj Kiran, who it must be said, has managed to re-invent himself as a bankable middle-class dad onscreen. The slow-paced movie holds your attention through its smart soft-focus moments in everyday life. The ebb and flow of everyday emotions gets the right treatment from AL Vijay, the director. He sure knows how to mix the various ingredients, and shows a level-headedness that can stand him in good stead for long.
Sakthivel (Ajith) is an implicitly obedient son of a sincere policeman, Rajarajan (Raj Kiran). Sakthi and his dad's dream is the same: That of seeing him enter the police force. The entire family comprising two other daughters, the mom (Saranya) and a wastrel of a brother-in-law (Vivek) are cuddly and close-knit. Rajarajan is from the old school of life and honesty is his watchword. In a venal system, this lands him in trouble often.
Divya (Trisha), a college girl, is a charming full-of-beans girl. She has some comical run-ins with Sakthi, and eventually falls in love with him. Elsewhere, Rajarajan, who books a MLA's son for an offence, is hauled up over the coals and sent on a 'punishment transfer' to a place, which is run as personal fief by a local dada (Ajay). On thing leads to another, and Sakthi is unwittingly sucked into the unholy vortex. Just as he is about to join the police force, destiny decrees otherwise: His life is not going to be the same again. A dad's dream lies shattered while a son, despite his unwillingness, has to fight a honest war beyond the matrix of a law. It is a situation that is actually an emotional cauldron. How the dad and son reconcile to the new reality is the story.
Ajith as Sakthi is suave and oozes quiet charm initially, and shows the desired intensity when taking on the baddies. There is a new maturity to his work reflecting his calmness in real life. The exchanges between him and Raj Kiran are almost tangible in its realism. The romantic interludes are all-out fun. The bonding between Ajith and Trisha is cool and has the right comic touches.
Trisha shines in this effervescent character and manages to leave a lasting impact. Her comic timing is a big revelation and she manages to hold her own against the likes of Vivek and Santhanam, the established comedians. Surely, this is one of her most enthusiastic performances.
Raj Kiran comes up with all the right touches and adds dignity to the role, which was made memorable in the original by Thilakan. Saranya does the mother role with ease and poise. Vivek and Santhanam provide the right humorous touches at the right moments. The villains have nothing extraordinary to offer. KPAC Lalitha as the grandmother is adequate.