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Kaithi movie review: Karthi's edgy performance is the highlight of Lokesh Kanagaraj's gripping thriller

Kaithi movie review: Karthi's edgy performance is the highlight of Lokesh Kanagaraj's gripping thriller

 3.5/5

    Cast: Karthi, Narain, George Maryan

    Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj

If I had to describe Kaithi in one word, it would be: terrific! Lokesh Kanagaraj, whose last film was the brilliant Maanagaram, has once again delivered a winner. Though it is only his second film, and first with a star like Karthi, the director has a grip over his craft and understanding of commercial cinema. He has dared to make a film that's different from the usual run-of-the-mill action movies and will take you by surprise.

Kaithi is a genre-specific film that grips you for a nerve racking 148 minutes. The entire story takes place in one single night and there are no flashbacks. Karthi’s raw and intense performance, the film's taut screenplay and excellent technicality, along with awesome action scenes, makes Kaithi an edge-of-the seat thriller.

Lokesh establishes his plot and characters in a straightforward manner in the first half an hour. Bejoy (Narain) is an honest cop attached to the commissioner’s office in Trichy, who confiscates 90 Kilos of cocaine with a market value of Rs 800 Crores. He keeps it in a secret underground cell which was built by the British. Anbu (Arjun Das), and his gang who control the drug mafia, want to recover the cocaine and also free their leader who is in police custody. The commissioner decides to celebrate the events with a party, but an informer inside the police force laces their drinks. Bejoy, who has not touched the liquor at the party, has to save the life of his colleagues.

Enter Dilli (Karthi), a prisoner released on parole to meet his daughter, who he has not seen in the last 10 years. Bejoy ropes in Dilli and offers him a deal if he helps drive the sick officers in a lorry. Meanwhile, a lone police constable (George Mariyam) and a group of college students caught for drunken driving, have to protect the commissioner’s office from Anbu who is planning an attack to recover his consignment.

Kaithi is Kamal Haasan’s Virumaandi meets Bruce Willis’s Die Hard. In fact, Lokesh has acknowledged both the films in the credits, but has convincingly worked it out so it blends with the story and situation. Like in his first film Maanagaram, in Kaithi, Lokesh chooses an open ending that leaves enough room for a sequel. The characters in the film are realistic and well etched.

The highlight of the film is its non-stop action scenes including a chase, deadly fights and a terrific climax. Anbariv, the action choreographer has done a great job along with cameraman Sathyan Sooryan. The  night shots in Kaithi successfully give you that feeling of dread. The only setback comes way into the film, when it seems like a one-man show as Karthi is shown as a fighting machine, winning even against 38 guys. Kaithi could have been crisper.

Karthi is terrific with his eyes, especially in a seen involving his daughter where he breaks down. Kaithi is a well made film that takes the road less travelled and provides enough thrills.

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