Kee movie cast: Jiiva, Nikki Galrani, Govind Padmasoorya
Kee movie director: Kalees
Kee movie rating: 1.5 stars
Cybercrime thrillers aren’t new to Tamil cinema. We have seen it all – from Unnaipol Oruvan to Vivegam. Before entering the theater, I thought Kee would be along the lines of Irumbu Thirai and Lens, but I was wrong. I quite liked the Vishal-starrer as it did not have cringe-worthy gags or sexist jokes. In fact, I found the film fairly engaging. Lens, on the other hand, was a different experience. Hmm… what do I say about Kee?
Kee exists in two worlds. It is a cyber thriller. It is a love story. And the big problem is that it can’t find a balance—everything seems the same old. Kalees fills his frames with technology. There is no proper storytelling. Kee comes as a reminder that everyone who carries a smartphone is a potential prey for hackers. Kalees might have had interesting ideas on cybercrime, but his writing is terrible and lacks focus.
Siddharth (Jiiva) meets Vandhana (Anaika Soti) in a pub but doesn’t know how to ‘correct’ her. He wants to impress her. So, what does Siddharth say? “Neenga strapless bra dhane potrukeenga!” Further, in a casual tone, he adds, “A guy can touch a girl anywhere. But before that, he needs to touch her heart.” These dialogues encapsulate how disturbing and problematic Kee is. While the film exists within the paradigm of the conventional masala template, it celebrates discarded ideas without any sense of self-reflection.
Our protagonist is a super-intelligent hacker, whose brain works faster than a computer, and creates ‘Baashha virus’. Somehow, his brain stops functioning when he sees Diya (Nikki Galrani). Towards the climax scene, you would see Siddharth give an ice cream to Diya in the unlikeliest situation.
Well… moving on, Kee has a father character played by Rajendra Prasad, who helps his son Siddharth ‘correct’ women. Have you ever seen a father-in-law greet a woman at her doorstep with a white rose? And, he is that one-in-a-million father, who cuts cake because his son failed in exams. In the world that Kalees creates, everything is acceptable. “Appa paasam beer bottle maari… aati-naa dhan pongum,” says Rajendra Prasad. I felt like banging my head against the wall.
The film, of course, has a lot of ‘funny’ moments. But for the most part, it is extremely crude. RJ Balaji’s character says half the women found in pubs are either ‘servant maids’ or ‘beggars’. If Balaji thinks this is his signature comedy, he is wrong. After some time, it simply becomes unbearable.
Kee is also the sort of film in which a five-year-old boy says “idhu en aalu” pointing fingers at a girl of his age. This can’t be laughed at. Such adultification needs to be called out.
If you can leave aside Kee’s fundamental problems, Jiiva delivers an okay-ish performance. Though he plays a hacker, he is akin to a superhero, who saves people in trouble. It is a tad disappointing to see Jiiva shoulder Kee; when you know he is capable of more. Govind Padmasoorya is impressive in the film. I must say he is terrific onscreen and has been appropriately cast.
As for the music, Vishal Chandrasekhar’s score lacks rhythm and fails to provide continuous emotional through-line. I am surprised how a fine actor like Suhasini Maniratnam appears lost in Kee. Anaika Soti barely registers. We have Nikki Galrani, who sports why-am-I-doing-this-film face throughout. Enough said.