Rating: 3.5/5 (Entertaining Romance)
Ilayathalapathy Vijay has been longing for a hit for quite a while now. He's teamed up with Siddique for a romantic entertainer called Kaavalan. Released for Pongal 2011, can this be Vijay's comeback film? Find out in this review
Story: Kaavalan is about Bhoominathan (Vijay) who's life was saved when he was young by Muthuramalingam (Rajkiran). When his enemies try to kill his daughter Meera (Asin), Bhoomi is hired as a bodyguard for her. He initially doesn't get along with Meera due to his unorthodox ways of keeping her safe and making her embarrassed when she goes to college. She finds out that he had a crush on a girl named Ammukutty and from an anonymous number starts calling him. What happens next and how their romance blossoms and a shocking climax twist forms the rest of Kaavalan.
Performances: Vijay is superb as Bhoominathan. He still has that charm and comic timing and gets to flex his muscles in the fight scenes at regular intervals. His grace in his dance steps are still intact and Ilayathalapthy makes a stunning comeback in this entertaining film.
Asin is beautiful and and does a great job emoting. Mithra Kurian is also good.
Rajkiran is superb as the elderly landlord. Vadivelu steals the show and brings the house down as Ammavasai. He will leave you in splits and is simply hilarious and watch out for the scene where he goes to the women's dorms and what happens after.
MS Bhaskar is entertaining in a secretary role. Mahadevan has a brief appearance as the villain.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Vidyasagar is excellent. Pattampoochi is the pick of the lot in my opinion. Cinematography by NK Ekambaram is very good and the visuals are rich and vibrant most of the time. Art is good especially the house sets. Editing by KR Gowri SHankar is alright. The film could have been trimmed to have a crispier runtime at some instances. Dialogues by Siddique are very good. Production Values by C Romesh Babu are grand and fabulous.
Analysis: Kaavalan is not your typical Vijay film with 6 fights, punch dialogues and invincible heroism. It's a different type of entertainer than runs on an interesting story at it's core. The basic idea of the girl calling the bodyguard is very innovative and brings a fresh feel to the romance.
The 1st half is commercial oriented until Meera starts calling Bhoomi and the interval is good. The 2nd half is laced with drama and sentiment and an action packed climax and shocking twist makes the film an engaging watch.
From the college episodes to the romance episodes to the fights to the comedy, Siddique has made a perfect family entertainer for Pongal that has all the masala one needs to enjoy a film. Vijay's screen presence and stardom take Kaavalan to the finish line and he puts the film on his shoulders.
Overall, Kaavalan is an entertaining romantic entertainer that's worth watching due to a solid story, good performances and music, and pure family orientation. Watch this one, for that superb climax twist you may never see again in another film.