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Kaari Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : / 5

Kaari Movie Review : A decent rural action drama with some engaging moments

Kaari Movie Synopsis: Kaari revolves around the life of a horse jockey in Chennai and how fate brings him to a small village in Ramanad district, which is about to witness the cruelty of money and power.

Kaari Movie Review: We have witnessed numerous subjects in Tamil cinema that integrate the popular ancient sport of taming bulls – Jallikattu into their core plots. Sasikumar’s Kaari is no different. However, what’s special here is that the rural action drama also discusses topics like pro-animal liberation, corporate greed, the ethics of meat consumption, and other matters that we rarely come across.

While the ideas are great and even the staging in the first half is quite promising, the plot falls into the clich├ęd arena as the film progresses, creating less impact among the viewers.

Kaari begins as a typical rural-actioner, discussing the rivalry between two villages near Ramanad, Kariyalur and Sivanenthal, and how organising a Jallikattu sport would help them resolve the issue. The winner is permitted to take authority over the administration of Karuppan temple, which is common to both. Parallelly, we also get introduced to Sethu (Sasikumar), a jockey who works in a horse racing stable in Chennai. His father, Vellasaamy (Aadukalam Narein), who works with him in the stable, is a socially responsible man and someone who never refrains from questioning wrongdoers. In the meantime, we also get a glimpse of a corporate kingpin, SKR (JD Chakravarthy), who is into the meat business and the exploitation of animals.

While all appears to be fine, Sethu’s life takes a turn when his father dies of a cardiac arrest a few minutes after his pet horse gets shot dead. What brings the people of Kariyalur and Sethu together, and how SKR’s business would affect their lives, form the rest of the crux.

Director Hemanth’s writing is effective in most parts, and his ambitious screenplay includes a subtle discussion on certain topics that’s not very common. He also touches upon the human-animal bond with a couple of well-shot scenes that include the death of a pet horse and the disappearance of a bull that was kept like a family. However, as the film progresses, particularly when we expect something monumental to happen on-screen, the director disappoints us by incorporating routine sequences that are typically associated with genres like these. JD Chakravarthy’s character sketch looks flat and doesn’t elevate the plot, which would have otherwise been intense.

There are only a few combination scenes between Sasikumar and JD Chakravarthy, and at times we wonder why the latter was even brought into a subject like this.

The Jallikattu sequences that appear in the pre-climax portion are quite interesting and unique. Shots of Karuppa (a superior quality bull) charging out of Vaadi Vaasal for the villagers to tame it are a delight to watch. Sethu falls in love with a girl (Parvathy Arun) in a nearby village who owns Karuppa, and little did he know that fate would want him to tame the same bull that’s been looked upon as a hero. Parvathy Arun is another talent to watch out for. Her performance after the disappearance of Karuppa the Bull is great, and she’s done justice to the role. Though Ammu Abirami doesn’t have much scope to perform, she has contributed her best. Samyuktha Shanmughanathan plays JD Chakravarthy’s wife, and she delivers a decent performance. Redin Kingsley, who appears only briefly in the first half, fails to give us that comic relief with his not-so-funny one-liners.

Rural subjects are favourites for Sasikumar, and it’s known that his screen-presence would easily elevate a subject like this. However, surprisingly, Sasikumar looked more convincing as a horse jockey than a bull tamer. Not to forget, Balaji Sakthivel who plays Parvathy’s father also did a great job. The technical aspects of the film are excellent, including the cinematography and the background score. Both Ganesh Chandhrra and D. Imman, respectively, have elevated the script to a higher level.

Kaari is interesting and engaging in parts, but it isn’t impactful enough for the audience to remember.

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