The story is about an illicit arrack distiller and seller who turn a reformer preaching against the evil of drinking after some incidents which teach Karan bitter lessons. The film revolves around Karan who plays the protagonist with maturity. His portrayal of the character with grit would no doubt impress even those who are still unconvinced about his abilities to be a hero. Debutant director Salangai Durai should feel happy that his choice of Karan, who has a certain rustic charm, for the role of Kathavarayan is apt. And Karan has lived up to the reputation of an actor with commitment and zeal. Vithesha who makes her debut in this film, is promising though she has nothing much to do.
Kathavarayan (Karan), deserted by his parents, ekes out his livelihood by selling illicit arrack in the Hogenakkal area bordering Karnataka. Malathy (Vithesha), a college student in Chennai, comes to his village as a social worker. As she is engaged in promoting the campaign against drinking, Kathavarayan develops hatred for her. His nexus with the police and his kind heart protect him from the rival gang headed by Kadhal Dandapani. With Malathy entering the scene with her anti-liquor campaign, things become easy for Dandapani and his henchmen, whose machinations land Kathavarayan in prison, having nabbed under the Goondas Act. After his release from the jail in Chennai, Kathavarayan returns to his village to wreak vengeance on Malathy. He is happy that Malathy herself has been booked for drug smuggling and undergoing imprisonment. From here the story takes many surprise twists and turns.
With his dhoti rolled up to the knees and twirling mustache Karan looks every bit an arrack seller whose experience in the trade has made him an expert in certifying the quality of the stuff in terms of a ‘kick’ by tasting a drop of it. He speaks Kovai Tamil and his dialogue delivery makes the character appear real. One dialogue that sends the audience roaring is “My arrack is not made of batteries, but of healthy herbs”. What transforms him from an arrack seller to a nice guy saving the life of a girl is well depicted.
Vithesha is a good match for Karan. She acquits herself creditably both in acting and glamour.
Vadivelu brings laughter by getting kicked any number of times. Ilavarasu plays a double-crossing policeman. Radha titillates in her cameo appearance.
The song “Kathavaraya Ennai Kadathikkittu Poyya” set to the music of Srikanth Deva rings in the ears.
Cinematographer Karthik Raja captures through the focus of his lens the beauty of the Hogenakkal waterfalls and Karan’s romantic interludes with Vithesha in the backdrop of scenic Kuala Lumpur.
Debutant director Salangai Durai has lost grip on the proceedings at some stages and as a result the focus is diffused and the audience interest sags. Some of the negative points are Vithesha being shown as a drug addict herself, Karan still being up and heroic even after the bullets pierce through his heart and abdomen and bringing in of unwanted characters.
More of drama and less of preaching would have made the film click.