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Kadali Movie Review - 'Sea' of Trouble!

Movie : KADALI
Rating: 2/5
Cast : Gautham Karthik, Tulasi, Arjun, Aravind Swamy and others
Directed by : Mani Ratnam
Produced by : Manohar Prasad, Mani
Banner : Madras Talkies
Music : AR Rahman
Release Date : 2013-02-01
Legendary director Mani Ratnam's latest movie Kadali is out in theaters now. What did the master director has in store for us this time. Read on..

What is it about?

Thomas (Gautham Karhtik) loses his mother as a kid and his father abandons him. He is taken care by a Church Father Sam (Aravind Swamy) and there is a special bond that develops between Sam and Tom. Sam has an enemy named Berchmans (Arjun) from his college days. Berchmans comes to take revenge on Sam and everybody's lives changes after that.


Gautham Karthik is brilliant in his role. He is a born actor and has brought life into his character. This is a stunning job for a first timer. Tulasi is alright as the female lead. She should shed few kilos if she is looking for a longtime career in films. Arjun is very good as the baddie. His style makes this character entertaining and brings life into the scenes where he is on screen. Aravind Swamy did a decent job. Lakshmi Manchu is restricted for a couple of scenes and she is alright.

On the Technical Front:

AR Rahman stores his best for his mentor Mani Ratnam and he has come up with soulful musical score for this film. Cinematography is a treat. Rajeev Menon made this a visual feast. He captured all the moods of sea very well. Production values are rich. Editing is fine.

Mani Ratnam's signature style is present in direction point of view. However, the film suffers due to lack of proper script. Mani Ratnam got hold of things during the penultimate hour and by that time it is already too late. The ace filmmaker has certainly lost his midas touch and his fans are in for disappointment yet again.


Mani Ratnam's films have great technical values and are also high on emotions. This time Mani Ratnam only got it right on the technical front. Script wise, Kadali is a huge letdown. There are various threads in this film, but none of them were dealt properly.

The romance between the lead pair is half baked. The conflict between Aravind Swamy and Arjun is not properly developed. Arjun, Manchu Lakshmi's thread is abrupt. This shows that Mani Ratnam is definitely not in best form and that is evident in most of the film.

Only few scenes really made an impact and most part of the movie is preachy and aimless. First half is a real pain to sit through. Things get slightly better in the second hour as much attention is paid to the story. Mani Ratnam who made classic movies like Gharshana and Dalapathy with the conflict between two people as theme has tried it in a different way this time. But only thing is he is not the classic Mani Ratnam now. Only glimpses of that master filmmaker are left now. Kadali may not appeal to any classes of audience due to sluggish pace and aimless direction. Watch it at your own risk.

Verdict: 'Sea' of Trouble!