Director Hari Santhosh definitely understands that fathers often want their sons to become what they themselves could not be. But, with Kaalej Kumar, he goes a mile ahead and reverses their roles. Through this romantic comedy, he explores a story that is unique for its scripting and screenplay.
The story is of a small family of three. Shivakumar is a peon in a company owned by his friend (Prakash Belawadi). Popularly known as Shivu amongst his friends, he and his wife Girija (Shruti) have a loving son, and the duo’s only ambition is to see their son Kumar (Vikky Varun) excel in studies and become an officer. But Kumar does not fare well and the father decides to take a drastic step, to reverse roles with his son. The father decides to go to college and leaves the responsibility of the family with his son. Will the two grow to understand each other and who is the real Kaalej Kumar forms the crux of the film.
A parallel storyline involves Keerthi (Samyuktha Hegde), studying in the same college, who becomes a messenger-of-sorts between the father and son. Along with the routine song-and-dance sequences, the story has realistic portrayal of clashes parents and children have over studies. This has been dealt with well and the melodramatic climax carries the audience, with its uplifting message.The script is definitely the hero of this film, and it is ably supported by melodious songs and a background score by Arjun Janya. Director of photography A Azhagan has done a decent job too.The screenplay is well written with humour and drama, if we brush aside the awkward moments with Prakash Belawadi. The credit must go to Kiran, for the story idea, and Vikky Varun who was also involved in its writing.
As for the cast, Ravi Shankar’s performance stands out. The actor, who is often seen as an antagonist, plays a character of his age with elan. He reminds of many fine actors who decided to try different roles and excelled. He is well supported by Shruthi, who plays his wife.
Vikky, whose role runs parallel to that played by Ravi Shankar, convincingly portrays the struggles faced by the young. Samyuktha Hegde blends into a college setting with grace. The rest of the cast including Achyuth Kumar, Sunderraj, Suchitra, Sadhu Kokila and Ramesh Pandit fit well into their roles.
The film presented as a college story is more, and is entertaining and enlightening. There are tolerable flaws but screenplay saves the day. Those who have appreciated scripts of movies such as 3 Idiots and Nil Battey Sannata will enjoy this one too. Kaalej Kumar is a good family entertainer, and would be double the fun if fathers and sons watched it together.