Reviewed by Kamal

Mani Ratnam’s ambitious project Kadal is finally here. Mani, even though he is arguably the best director in Tamil cinema the last five years haven’t been easy for him . With the young generation taking the art of movie making to the next level  and after the Raavanan debacle, Mani Ratnam needs a movie that will put him on his throne right back. Will Kadal be the one ? Let’s see.

Kadal is a war between good and bad told using a lot of biblical references.Thomas a boy rejected in his community finds solace in Christianity through Father Sam who is shown as a Savior. Due to circumstances Thomas ends being in the company of Bermans an evil Satan. Later part of the story is how he finds the path of righteousness and belief back through Beatrice a girl shown as the guardian of light. As complex as it may sound, the way it is shown in the movie is simple and the problem is it’s shown in a very simple manner.

Gautham Karthik as Thomas is really good for his debut and shows a lot of promise. The boy shines in certain emotional sequences. Arjun as the antagonist overdoes the character. Aravind Swamy as Father Sam is exceptional. He is calm and does what’s required. It’s good to see him back on screen. But the movies biggest find is Thulasi as Beatrice. She is natural and ends up being lovable.

The cinematography is one of the best in recent times. Rajiv Menon deserves the applause. The ocean has never looked better. Rahman always has something special when it comes to his mentor. The Mani-ARR magic is evident through out both in songs and BGM. The dialogues by Jeyamohan might be very difficult for a few to understand.

With the cast being near perfect and the technical department being sound the biggest let down here is Mani himself. The way he has treated the story is poor. The screenplay is slow and it fails to revive its pace at any point. It might even get on to your nerves.

Kadal could have been much better but ends being a mediocre effort from the master.

2.5/5. Definitely not a Mani Ratnam show.