Vijay Milton has given us ‘Goli Soda’, one of the best movies in the past decade and one goes with great expectations to his ‘Kadugu’ with the interesting casting of Rajakumaran as the protoganist and Bharath as the antagonist. Whether the film fulfills what it promises is altogether a different story.
‘Kadugu’ starts off by introducing Puli Paandi (Rajakumaran) an exponent of the ancient art pulivesham who is reduced to being an unofficial aide of the local police inspector (A Venkatesh). When the officer is transferred to Tarangambadi, Paandi too accompanies him where he befriends another misfit Anirudh (Bharat Seeni).
Nambi (Bharath) is an influential boxer who also has political aspirations and his path crosses with Paandi when he uses him as a punching bag. Anirudh is in love with a rich girl (Subiksha) and every ploy he attempts to woo the girl makes her believe that it is Nambi (Bharath) who is after her and she falls for him.
There is also a kind teacher with a past (Radhika Prasitha) who carries on an anonymous relationship with Puli Paandi via facebook. A horrific incident pits Puli Paandi against Nambi which leads to a riveting climax in which the real hero of the story emerges.
Bharath has given his all to a role with heavy negative shades and is quite convincing whenever the script allows him that space while often when it doesn’t he becomes a tad uncomfortable. His best moments come when he is interacting with his grandmother, whom he has a love hate relationship.
Rajakumaran has the perfect look for his role and credit to him for putting in a huge effort to convincingly pull off the Pulivesham dance and the climax fight. But in all other scenes his voice modulation and blank expressions are a big let down. Bharat Seeni, Radhika Prasiddha, Bharath’s grandmother and the young girl playing the molestation victim have done a neat job in portraying their characters naturally.
Subiksha has virtually nothing to do other than smiling and nodding her head rhythmically in slow motion.
The only plus of ‘Kadugu’ is the hard hitting dialogues aimed at the impotent common man at large that come in the climax. The references to modern technology like WiFi, Bluetooth etc manage to bring a smile now and then.
The sequence when Radhika unseen by Rajakumaran pours her heart out on the train is moving and so is the scene when Rajakumaran decides not to pursue her when he learns of her age from Bharath Seeni.
When the censor certificate showed the running time as 1hour 55 minutes we sit down for a crisp and realistic tale, but the film takes ages and ages to come to its point and what adds more pain is the fact that it is far from realistic too The build up to project Rajakumaran as an angel in human form is equal to that of commercial directors doing it for mass heroes.
The 2D animation used when Radhika narrates her tragic past drains it of emotions. All the scenes are contrived and long drawn out which induce fatigue in the viewer.
Vijay Milton proves his mettle as a cinematographer transporting the viewers into Tarangambadi while the editor John Abraham has done the best he could with the never ending scene footage. Nothing to write home about the music and background by Arunagiri and Anoop Selin.
Stunt master Supreme Sundar deserves special mention for the climax fight and the way he has extracted work from Rajakumaran. Vijay Milton’s screen writing and direction are more ’10 Enradhukkulla’ than ‘Goli Soda’ for sure. As the saying goes “Good intentions do not make a good film”.
Verdict: If you possess the patience to endure a lot of boredom you may be impressed by the climax and the relevant messages.