Kaadhal (2004)

  • Written by Balaji Sakthivel
  • Directed by Balaji Sakthivel

   Repeat Value : 9 / 10     

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a popular dialog from Kaadhal

Kaadhal - Movie Highlights

Based on a true story, Kadhal (Love) is one of the best things to happen to Cinema not only Tamil film industry but also others. If you look at the film as a whole it turns out to be the oldest story in the book, but Balaji Sakthivel treads a path where realism and commercial aspects of film making blur. Hence it is an instant classic, breaking all the trappings of a commercial big budget 'Hero' film which fails to connect with the audience. And time and again Tamil cinema (Kollywood) has come up with great stories which are fodder for other industries. Over a decade and more, new directors came up with films in Tamil which were universal in their theme and helped Kollywood grow beyond its limits. It not only opened to good critical acclaim but was a high commercial success. Also the remakes suggest its success is beyond Tamil borders. Upon release, the film was dubbed into Telugu as Premisthe. It was remade in Kannada as Cheluvina Chittara (2007), in Bengali as Chirodini Tumi Je Amar (2008), in Marathi as Ved Laavi Jeeva (2010), in Nepali as Manjari (2013) and in Punjabi as Ramta Jogi (2015).

Kaadhal is a poignant love story set in Madurai. Murugan (Bharath) is a mechanic along with his assistant Karatandi (Arunkumar) make a living for themselves. A rich girl, still in school Ishwarya (Sandhya) bumps into Murugan's life and falls in love with him. She persuades him to accept her love. Initially Murugan hesitates to love her as she belongs to a rich family but later understands her true love and reciprocates. After several encounters an unassuming love develops between the two. When Iswarya's family fixes up an alliance for her, fearing to tell about her love to her parents, she convinces him to elope with her. The naive Murugan hesitantly yields to her charm and the two run away to Chennai. Stephen (Sukumar) is Murugan's friend who helps them. After great difficulties, the two get married and find a house to settle down. But Ishwarya's family dotes on her and is not going to give up so easily. Meanwhile, her uncle manages to find her in Chennai and convinces the couple that their wedding would be solemnized in Madurai and takes them along with him. On the way back to Madurai the real intention of Aishwarya's uncle in bringing them back home is known and by that time it's too late. What fate has in store forms a riveting and heart touching climax?

Kaadhal is no different from the otherwise run of the mill story of a rich girl falling in love with a poor boy story. But the difference is however evident in the manner in which the director penned the screenplay based on a real-life incident. The movie in fact not only helped in breaking the monotonous mould of city based love stories but also passed on a clear message to the film makers that the audience always welcome fresh ideas. Kaadhal is a director's movie all the way. He surely knows how to tell a simple story in a realistic and attractive way. With no established star cast, Kadhal solely relies on its strong script and all credit should go to Balaji Sakthivel for churning out a movie that is quite unlike the usual run-of-the-mill stuffs. There is originality and honesty in his work. The first half of the movie is about how they fall in love and well there is enough entertainment, the second half is realistic one. It successfully bridges the gap between naturalism and entertainment. Its realistic characterization and situations give us the impression as though you are watching a real-life happening unfold before your eyes. Because of its realism it helps us get involved in the movie. Artificial and cinematic moments are almost completely absent. The love story at the start is cute and the struggle in the second half is engaging. But the entire story hinges on the final scene and that is where Balaji Saktivel scores. Films are always blamed for the crime, love, fashion etc happening in the society. But probably this could be an eye-opener for immature teenagers who think love and marriage are achievements in themselves. If there are certain things that youngsters learn out of films, then vice versa also holds good.

There are a whole lot of technicians too who make worthy contributions. Be it the narrow lanes, dingy rooms, cluttered roads or the green groves, S. D. Vijay Milton's camera tellingly captures the mood and the ambience and captures the Madurai city at it best. Debutant music-composer Joshua Sridhar's score is an asset to the film. While 'Kirukiruvena' and 'Unakkena Iruppaen' are appealing, the fast-paced 'Thottu Thottu' and 'Poovum Pudikkuthu' are both catchy. Lastly the Madurai dialect also helps make 'Kadhal' a different experience.

New faces lend freshness and authenticity to the cast. Bharat (a film or two old) is good. He fits to a T in the role. He underplayed heroism is impressive and his plight later on is touching. If Bharath's performance is finely-honed, newcomer Sandhya is a revelation. Her subtle and natural expressions, modulations and next-door looks deserve a special mention. Looking almost vulnerable and right out of school, Sandhya tackles the role that expects her to convey myriad expressions, quite well. She is terrific with her natural performance. All other supporting characters feel completely real. Sukumar to his credit has come out with a convincing performance. Arun Kumar who acted as aide of Bharat is very hilarious. Dandapati and SK Murthy fit the bill.

Kaadhal is a film that deserves to be much more widely known. Tamil Cinema at its Best!