Director- AR Murugadoss
Cast- Vijay, Samantha, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Satish
After tackling a socially relevant issue like corruption, in Ramana, director Murugadoss had reverted to action-centric films where the hero usually fights his personal battle, merging it with a social cause. But with Kaththi the director has yet again reverted to a relevant issue that continues to plague the country- farmers’ plight and suicides, and the entry of multinationals that at times, may not augur well for the country. For Vijay too, it’s a make-over of sorts. You get to see less of those trademark cute funny expressions, and more of sobriety and maturity in a character effectively played.
The first half moves at a sluggish pace, the director compensating with a more racy entertaining second half. The plot is an age-old one of a man taking the place of his lookalike and fighting the latter’s battle. But the cause is what makes the difference here. The film opens in Kolkata where Kathir escapes from prison and comes to Chennai. He delays his plan to fly to Bangkok, when he realises that he would soon be getting his hands on a huge sum of money. The evolution of Kathir from an aimless and carefree youngster to a responsible citizen forms the rest. The early scene of Kathir coming across his lookalike Jeeva, impersonating him and finding himself targeted by some criminal elements and the cops-in-nexus, sets the moment for some intrigue and action to follow. The manner in which Kathir comes to know of social activist Jeeva’s story is interestingly depicted through a video clip. ‘Everything in life has a price tag’ believes the corporate company chief (a suave Neil Nitin) as he makes his moves. The method Kathir uses to attract the attention of an apathetic media (a one-sided view here) and the urban public may seem improbable, but makes for some interesting viewing. It also helps to drive home the point that senior citizens too have a relevant role to play. Some statistics thrown in about farmer suicides, migration to cities and foreign lands for survival, lend a touch of realism.
But there are the glitches. The coin-tossing fight scene used the first time has a resonating impact. But it’s jarring when repeated the second time. The romantic track is insipid, Samantha looking quite lost in the proceedings. At times it takes a preachy tone, as if the hero is explaining some small matters to a dumb public. It’s a well-crafted finale. Despite the glitches, Kaththi is one of the better films of Vijay. In their second outing after Thuppakki, the director-hero duo has offered a meaningful and a fairly engaging entertainer as their festival offering for the actor’s fans.