After facing numerous problems and hurdles, Vijay finally managed to release his eagerly awaited Kaavalan at one of his most crucial moments in his career. He's facing a crisis with back to back super flops considering that he's a super star. He has teamed up with Siddique after the super success of Friends and remaking a Malayalam film which was originally written keeping Vijay in mind. To be honest, Vijay must be thanked for giving a clean movie with no ridiculous stunts, over the top heroism, lame punch dialogues, crass villains but delivering a cool, sweet and cute movie which shows that Vijay is just not a star but also an actor.
Watching Vijay performing in mellow and cute love scenes is a big relief for the normal audience considering all the rubbish he threw out for the past few years. This movie is a throw back to the 90's era where Vijay was popular at the time for being a ladies man with soft and cute mannerisms. It's seriously nice to see him enact emotional scenes with aplomb and at the same time holding the audiences' attention with his screen presence. His transformation as a stiff and strict bodyguard with a touch of humor to the soft and love-struck guy was smooth and touching. The scene in the park where he was about to meet his 'lover' was truly touching and sweet where he portrayed the emotions of tense and calmness at the same time was a truly subtle acting from him. It shows the years of experience he has in the film industry. Added to that his dressing sense was pretty good in this film with most of his costumes looked contemporary and neat which presented him as a smart looking guy. Not to forget his emotional acting in the climax and as well his famous comedy timing, Vijay gave a very good performance as an actor this time. Asin is back after a small gap and she just sleep walked through her role. It took a few moments for her to deliver her histrionics as an actress of substance although in certain scenes she looked bad with the make up and the chemistry between she and Vijay is missing this time. Vadivelu was a riot in certain scenes especially with his 1 liners like "Private Number/Parvathy Nambiar" and the "Paavam Avare Confuse Aayittaru" dialogues being the best and the best scene would be the one where he gets bashed up in the womens hostel and how he complaints it to the others was an absolute laughter. Other than tat comedy scenes were pretty lame. Other cast members did their role as it was needed.
Technically the film doesn't deliver anything big. Stunts by Siva complemented well with Vijay's fighting style and it wasn't over the top. NK Ekhambaram's camera was just nice with the last fight scene being the highlight of his work. Vidyasagar gave a couple of hummable tunes like Step It Up and the Yaaradhu songs but should have done better with the BGM as it was too melodramatic at times. Song picturizations were not impressive though except for the starting part of the Pattam Puchi song involving the graphic works.. Siddique should have tweaked the first half of the film as until the interval, the movie doesn't show of anything promising and where it is heading to. Although the ending was touchy and sweet it could have been changed to something more realistic as it would have been more poignant.
Overall, Kaavalan is a decent film from Vijay after a very long time and it was just nice to see him do some real acting and deviating from his usual masala action movies. A cute, sweet film with a touching end is what Kaavalan is all about. It's not a great film but the same time not a bad one either. Only disappointment is the decision of Vijay opting out of 3 Idiots remake which would have helped him sustain the good momentum given by Kaavalan on his path to redemption. Hope more directors approach Vijay with simple and realistic scripts to help him show his histrionics as an actor.
Rating: 2.5/5 STARS