I decided to spend New Year by going to two movies today, the first being Kayal. The movie is by Director Prabhu Solomon of Kumki movie fame, so naturally I had lot of expectations. On top of it, I read that the movie was about the biggest natural tragedy in my part of world (South India/Southeast Asia) – the 2004 Tsunami which killed over 230,000 people. Kayal (கயல்) in Tamil means a fish that lives where three seas meet (மூன்று கடல்களும் சங்கமமாகும் இடத்தில் வாழும் மீன்).
The film starts off in an interesting note. Two rough looking youngsters named Aaron & Socrates are arrested in Coimbatore Railway station a day before 6th December (anniversary of demolition of the Babri Masjid). When questioned, the police see a businessman’s (played by veteran Prabhu) visiting card, the police contacting him over phone, and he explains the innocence of the two. He elaborates on their philosophy of live – to work hard for six months, then spend the next six months travelling around the country to see new places. They don’t have a house and live everyday as it comes. The dialogues in this scene, the punch the two and with the police writer (though cliche) were beautifully written. Aaron says each of us need to live our own life, not someone else; we don’t need to plan ahead, just follow life as it comes; no need to run towards a goal, no need to win any race (of life); you need to live life honestly and truly appreciate it. The visuals of Meghalaya living tree bridges, Ladakh were beautiful and fresh for Tamil cinema.
After this the two reach a town in South Tamil Nadu, where they get caught in a crossfire. It is around an incident of young girl running away from house just before her big village wedding. Thinking the two are co-conspiring in the escape of the girl, the bride’s uncle beats the two. In that episode, Aaron (played by Chandran) meets the heroine Kayal (played by Anandhi) and declares his love in front of everyone. Though this is an oft-repeated plot in Tamil movies, the Director keeps us engaged by his fresh delivery. After their release, the two (Aaron & Socrates) go to Kanyakumari, ticking off the last place in their tour of India. Kayal, unable to bear Aaron’s departure, goes after him to Kanyakumari. This is where the movie starts to drag. van buth travel in the same van but miss each other and other cliche’ scenes happen. Kayal gets herself stopped by different people (Lorry Driver, College students, Policewoman) repeatedly for no obvious reasons.
Finally, they all 3 (Aaron, Kayal & Socrates) get caught in 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and rest is how they survive. The enactment of the Tsunami (supposed to be a several crore efforts by the crew) through Visual Effects was excellent, definitely a first in terms of quality for Tamil Cinema. For me, the screen play was disturbing here. I found it completely out of place, to the point of being insensitive to the families of Tsunami’s victims. You could remove the Tsunami background and still the screen play would have remained intact. Somehow it (Tsunami) seemed to be force fitted into an otherwise ordinary love story. I was not able to understand (so did my friend sitting next to me), on why Aaron never reaches to the church office following an announcement calling his name by Kayal, what the Director tries to say there is not clear.
Excellent performance by Chandran, Anandhi and Vincent in their respective roles. Music is by D Imman, I liked these three songs “Paravayaa Parakkurom”, “Yengirindhu Vandhaayo” and “Yen Aala Paakkaporaen”, the last two’s melody sounded familiar but certainly enjoyable. Overall, a good attempt by Director which had a great potential but not utilised properly.