Kathakali Movie Review

A nitty-gritty suspense thriller

Reviews 15-Jan-2016 11:19 AM IST Top 10 Comments

Direction : Pandiraj
Production : Pasanga Production, Vishal Film Factory
Starring : Vishal, Catherine Tresa, Karunas
Music : Hiphop Thamizha
Cinematography : Balasubramaniem
Editing : Pradeep E.Ragav

Vishal’s Kathakali is an edge-seated thriller that offers some surprises and twists through the course. The film is directed by Pandiraj and is produced by Vishal under the banner of Vishal Film Factory with Catherine Tresa, Karunas, Mime Gopi and few more involved in the star-cast. Hip Hop Tamizha has offered musical score for this film.


Vishal has returned back from abroad after earning good money and status. He is getting married to his girlfriend (Catherine Tresa) and is getting married in four days. Meanwhile, there is a threat to his peaceful life, when the most dreaded done in Cuddalore is murdered and Vishal along with his elder brother (Mime Gopi) are held as primary suspect among 8 in the list. What makes the investigation so crucial is that everyone has a reason to commit the murder and who’s the real culprit at Crime Scene?


For the first time, Pandiraj changes his paradigm and tries to offer and experiment something different. Well, the strong characterisations and performance of star-cast becomes the foremost intriguing element in the film and secondly, the surprise element happens to be the strong pillar that comes with a limited action sequences. The first half proceeds with some enjoyable entertainment factors, especially the romantic encounters of Vishal and Catherine Tresa is a youthful treat. Similarly, the hilarious quotients from Karunaas are rib tickling too that comes well with the witty lines. The basic problem with the film is the second half that looks like a long dragging journey between the dusk and dawn. It should have been more crispier to keep us more engrossed. Musical score by Hip Hop Aadhi has something exciting with the background score, but even though the songs are just two numbers, they look unwanted for the screenplay and nowhere close to it. Yes, we all know that the protagonist has to win at climax and there is a suspense lying beneath everything (of course, with a tricky music from ‘Kathakali’ theme), we are obviously given a right guess that there is something beyond it all. But we can appreciate Pandiraj for playing the game of trick between the characterisations in a groovy style.


Vishal has underplayed in many portions, which is an additional advantage to the film, where he unlearns everything from his previous films like Aambala, Poojai and Paayum Puli. The actor is going through a right path of simultaneously involved in commercial and offbeat styles. Catherine Tresa looks beautiful and there is nothing much specific about her performance. Karunaas offers some refreshing moments of fun and enjoyment through his hilarious episodes. Others in the cast have done their best.

What works?

1. Characterization, good casting and performance
2. Cinematography
3. Romance and Comedy

What doesn’t work?

1. Screenplay in the second half is little dragging
2. Songs by Hip Hop Tamizha

Firstly, Pandiraj deserves special mention for offering some best moments through the characterisations and game of guess among them. Although the stunts and songs are limited with decent romantic sequences, the second half if offered with more gripping moments, Kathakali would have been an outstanding thriller.

Verdict: A nitty-gritty suspense thriller

Rating: 4.5/10

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