Kayal review: Visually arresting but hardly a novel plot

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Dec 26, 2014 14:18 IST

Director: Prabhu Solomon
Cast: Chandran, Vincent, Anandhi
Rating: 1.5/5

Director Prabhu Solomon's Tamil film, Kayal, appears like the final part of a romantic trilogy set in exquisitely verdant landscape. His earlier Mynaa and Kumki also unfolded in the rusticity of rural greenery, which provided the backdrop for unrequited love in the first case, and an open-ended climax in the second.

But in Kayal - whose final frames magnificently capture the sheer turbulence and tragedy of the 2004 tsunami - the ending is happily different.

As Kayal takes us through the frightening fury of the giant tidal waves, when they strike the town of Kanyakumari at the tip of peninsula India, sucking out life and destroying property, we see hope and joy rise from the deathly mayhem.

The simple story - though spoiled by boringly long scenes and exasperating verbosity - begins with two carefree friends, Aaron (Chandran) and Socrates (Vincent), who work as farm hands for six months and travel around the country for the other six with the money they save. However, it is never clear why they are so irreverent, their tongue-in-cheek attitude and almost arrogantly casual demeanour getting them into nasty spots. First with the police, and thereafter with a rich zamindar family, whose daughter elopes with her lover on the eve of her marriage.

The pretty young maid, Kayal (Anandhi), working for the zamindar, not only catches Aaron's eye -- while he and Socrates are being grilled and tortured at the rich household because of a terrible misunderstanding - but also falls hopelessly in love with him. The rest of the movie runs like a roller-coaster with Aaron and Kayal desperately searching for each other till the tsunami strikes.

Shot largely in Meghalaya, Solomon's work is indeed visually arresting with above average performances by the trio. But there is very little novelty in the plot, and the script is far too sloppy to make much of a mark. The story is so threadbare that it could have been wrapped up in just 90 minutes.

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