Critic's Rating: 17/5
Friday 28 November 2014
Siddharth, Prithviraj, Vedika
Vasantabalan?s Kaaviya Thalaivan is a class act. A big reason the film never feels contrived is its remarkable cast and their pitch-perfect performances, authentic production designs of the period, and great camerawork. Above all, Vasantabalan is lucky to get a passionate producer who has made his dream come true.
Kaaviya Thalaivan, is a period drama set in Madurai of 1930's and 1940's. The story is set against the milieu of old Tamil drama schools and the life of stage artistes.
Sivadas Swamigal (Nassar) runs a strict drama company. Two of his wards, Kaliappa Baghavathar (Siddharth) and Gomathi Nayagam Pillai (Prithviraj), rule the Tamil stage in the 40's. And the human drama that unfolds is about love and friendship that soon turns to jealousy and revenge.
Vasantabalan?s characterisation is good though dialogues of Jayamohan are not up to the mark. As Kaliappa Baghavathar, Siddharth has done a magnificent job and his eyes speak the sadness of his character. It is easily one of his best performances till date. The scene where Siddharth enacts the ?Sooran? character is splendid and he steals the climax right under the nose of the very talented Prithviraj.
Prithviraj as the antagonist is terrific but his Malayalam-laced Tamil is a drawback. It is so good to see Vedika in a role where she not only looks beautiful but delivers a brilliant performance as Vadivambal. Last but not least, Nassar as Sivadas Swamigal is extraordinary and the actor has used all his expertise for this role.
Technically, Kaaviya Thalaivan is flawless with superb camerawork by Nirav Sha who has beautifully picturized the 1940's period aesthetically and Praveen KL's editing makes sure that the film flows smoothly and coherently. Art direction by Santhanam is authentic and sets the perfect ambience for the period drama. AR Rahman's composition is out of the world! Be it the songs or the background score, the composer has shown his class in the film.
Vasanthabalan deserves a pat on his back for coming out with a brave and unflinching film that oozes the kind of sincerity that you long for in most Tamil films these days.