It is but natural that Tarun Gopi's second venture after the successful 'Thimiru' has been awaited with a lot of anticipation. While 'Thimiru' was in no way an outstanding movie, it did have the right ingredients to entertain. Hence Tarun Gopi gained the reputation of a director with potential to provide entertainers.
Tarun Gopi, in his second venture 'Kaalai', has roped in young and happening Silambarasan and this has triggered the anticipation further.
Tarun Gopi has worked out a script that has lot of twists and turns. The director has different threads, cleverly interwoven, to provide an engaging fare on screen. The initial scenes lead you towards a particular direction but a few other avenues open as the film moves on. Tarun keeps on surprising you right from the first scene, when Lal (Deputy Police Commissioner) is introduced as an auto driver.
The surprises continue with other characters getting introduced. The confusion over the name Jeeva makes an interesting suspense as to who is against whom and why.
Silambarasan is introduced in a typical way with a fight. A song, in which Nila sizzles along with white-skinned babes follows soon to make the introduction complete.
Meanwhile, the hype created to Silambarasan's character has gone a bit too far. You are amused to see everyone showing much respect for him as if he is the prince of a kingdom. Later the mystery is revealed when the Theni track featuring Seema, the godmother of Theni, is told. Silambarasan is determined to avenge her death. The killer is the Deputy Commissioner. Incidentally (predictably?) his daughter loves the hero.
The first half moves on deftly playing with the confusion on the name and the second half shows how the all-powerful hero completes his mission. Meanwhile, you get to see some gals including the beautiful and curvaceous Vedhika dancing around Simbu, a smart dancer, in skimpy clothes.
Tarun Gopi is successful in narrating the story with speed despite many loopholes and logical weakness. The way he has clubbed the various threads is commendable. However, many scenes resemble 'Thimiru'. The hero coming to the city in the disguise of a student, a girl sending a troupe to catch him, and the fight sequence in the bus stand have striking similarities with 'Thimiru'.
Moreover, the narrative is too loud and it lacks finesse. The hunting game becomes redundant after a point and the build-up to the hero goes to the extent of being irritating. The young director must think new ways of approach for action films.
Silambarasan handles the 'omnipotent hero' character with confidence. He has worked hard in stunt scenes but looks less convincing while taking on the hefty villain in the climax. Dancing is his forte and he hasn't disappointed in this area. But he must seriously think over doing stereo-typed action roles if he wants to develop his career as a multi dimensional hero.
Vedhika announces her arrival as the potential glam girl of 2008. This one with a beautiful and innocent face has just the right figure to take up glamour roles.
Seema is quite impressive as the godmother. She has succeeded in bringing out the power wielded by her through her eyes and body language.
Lal's performance is emphatic. But he looks uncomfortable in the police dress. Sangeetha stands out in the meaty role with her powerful display of emotions.
Music by G.V. Prakash is just above average. A couple of songs featuring Simbu and Vedhika are good.
The bottomline: Tarun has managed to give us an entertainer but the loopholes and clichés mar the impact.