Director: Sundar C
Cast: Shiva, Vimal Santhanam, Anjali, Oviya
After a fairly long sabbatical, director Sunder C picks up the megaphone again with 'Kalakalappu'. It’s crafted in a genre that he is most comfortable with, the comic one. The story set against the backdrop of a rundown cafe in Kumbakonam, is about the efforts of two siblings to restore the once popular eatery of their ancestors to its past glory.
Playing the siblings are Shiva and Vimal, the duo fitting in suitably. Shiva is the reckless one, often botching up his brother’s efforts to restore the cafe. The romantic angle has a twist with Anjali playing Vimal’s lady love and Oviya Shiva’s. The mix-up when Vimal mistakes a woman for the health inspector, gets some laughs.
The director’s films are renowned for their overt glamour quotient. But here he tones it down, limiting it to a couple of song-dance numbers, Anjali and Oviya performing them with uninhibited abandon.
On a parallel track is a scene at Chennai where Subbu (fitting in neatly), a jewellery showroom owner, loses his mobile phone in which he had hidden some priceless diamonds. Changing hands it finally lands in Shiva’s unsuspecting hands. There is the local cop (John Vijay) who taking advantage of Shiva’s penchant for gambling and lures him into a trap. At a point the siblings find their prospering business and their love life going for a toss.
The supporting cast get their own space. Like veteran V S Raghavan as the loyal caretaker of the cafe, and Ilavarasu as the money lender who adopts various disguises to escape from the cop.
The sub plot of the textile showroom owner wanting to buy out the cafe, is an unwanted distraction. Vimal’s trip to Anjali’s village to rescue her from an unpleasant marriage to Santhanam, has some fun moments. But the narration could have been tightened. The plot picks up pace towards the end, where all the characters converge. It’s a free for all, with chases and mix-ups in an ‘it’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World’ style finale.
The ‘cafe’ may not be as rib tickling an experience as the director’s earlier Ullathe Allitha. But it’s pleasant viewing and keeps one in good humour for the most part.