With his refreshing screenplay and an unconventional narrative style Parthiepan makes a bold and successful attempt to veer cinema from its routine beaten path. The film with its catchy title and a quirky tag line (‘a film without a story’), had managed to garner a lot of attention and curiosity. And Parthiepan does not disappoint. In its running time of just about 128 minutes, the film packs enough punch to make it worthwhile for audiences, to experience a celluloid journey that is intriguing and fascinating.
About an aspiring director and his team’s effort to come up with a suitable storyline for their new movie, the film is multi-layered and drives home many truths about life in general and the film industry in particular. As in life, the odds are 50-50 in films too, and it’s all about following ones intuition and taking chances.
A master at playing with words, Parthiepan brings in a lot of humour and laughs, with his smart, often satirical and irreverent lines. Thamizh’s (Sathosh) team includes Shirley (Sahitya), Murali (Vijay Ram), Murthy (Lallu) and Seenu (Ramaiah), each having their own personal problems. Thamizh finds inspiration from his real life experiences and brings them in his screenplay. At times the reel incidents he’s weaved into seem to uncannily reflect on his marital life too. It’s about whether he finally achieves the goal.
Debutant Santhosh fits in suitably as Thamizh and is a promising find. Thamizh’s relationship with his whimsical wife Daksha (Akhila) and the ups and downs in their relationship is brought out interestingly. Akhila, reminding one of Nayanthara in her looks and expressions, does justice to her role.
The supporting cast of freshers pitches in. There are special appearances by many actors, Arya and Amala Paul having extended cameos. The scene stealer is Thambi Ramaiah as Seenu, a struggling director of 40 years. Seenu is the link between the old and the new, with his fascinating take on Tamil classic films and the legends behind them. There are nuggets of information one can find here. Sudharshan’s crisp editing, and Rajaratnam’s framing, angles and tone, create the right mood and feel.
At a point when the narration tends to turn serious with a crime angle brought in, one thought the director would go off-track. But Parthiepan retains his grip, the ending as intriguing as the rest of the screenplay.
As with life’s situations, a film need not always have to end in a definitive ‘climax’, as suggested by a fake producer to Thamizh. Parthiepan makes brief appearances in the film, but his presence as its writer-director is felt in every frame. The ‘Live the moment...’ song included in the end has a racy track and is well shot.
‘Kathai.....’ comes as a whiff of fresh air. It’s commendable that Parthiepan with his 25 years of experience in films as director-actor has still not lost his passion for cinema nor his ability to think differently.