Cast: Kishore, Yagna Shetty, Midhun Kumar, Sulile Kumar, Rajini Mahadevaiya
Director: Saran K Advaithan
Ratings: 2 stars
The first thing that I register on seeing Kalathur Gramam is that the film looks neat on the big screen. Shot well predominantly, the lighting in the film adds more depth to the characters onscreen. Take a case where a stabbed Kishore (Kedathiruka) interrogates his nemesis’ son to find out who did it. Sitting in the light of a fire, Kishore’s face is aesthetically half-lit, a sly hint to him not knowing the entire picture. While he finds the person out pretty easily, the face is still half lit as he doesn’t know the true identity of the person. There are several places where such small aspects show effort and that’s laudable.
Kalathur Gramam is filled with performances that are rooted and intense. It’s these potrayals that sell the intensity of Kalathur Gramam as plot twists are foreseeable. Take the Mayana Kollai sequence that rides on Kishore’s shoulders and you’ll understand what I am talking about. Or the climax sequence where the antagonist recreates a childhood act. The swift editing also helps in keeping us engaged and so does Ilayaraja’s music. (Stray thought: Does Yagna Shetty remind anyone else of Kamalini Mukherjee?)
But the plot points are well-established and so are the characters. There is a reason why the priest lies against Kedathiruka. There is a reason why Veranna is manipulative and infact, his parents manipulate too when they thought it was required. There is effort to flesh things out and reason them. That, again, deserves a mention.
The major drawback of Kalathur Gramam is that there are parts which aren’t presented as well as the rest. The film’s second half especially feels longer that it needs to be giving it an air of a docu-drama. It has its part of clichés as well but the finer etched moment take you by surprise, tipping the balance in the movie’s favour.
Kalathur Gramam is not a Dhuruvangal Pathinaru or a Managaram. But it is a reminder that comes to every cinephile once a while to not have preconceived notions based on the stars it has in it.