After the grand success of 'Kumki', Prabhu Solomon is back with his next love story and this time, its set against the devastating tsunami disaster which occurred on the 26th of December 2004. Produced and distributed by Escape Artist Motion Pictures and Prabhu Solomon's own GOD Pictures, 'Kayal' promises to be an impactful love-story backed by D.Imman's melodious music. Can Prabhu Solomon score a hat-trick with 'Kayal' ?

Debutante Chandran makes a very promising debut. His earnestness in performing well is apparent on screen and he glides into the emotional scenes, with ease and comfort. His rugged and athletic nature makes him fit for the character and with sound decision-making, Chandran can definitely make it big in Tamizh cinema. Heroine Anandhi, get the attention here by playing the titular character. After 'Poriyaalan', this is a big leap for her and an apt choice for her character. Her pleasant and sweet looks complements the character very well and her gorgeous, beautiful and expressive pair of eyes, wins us over. Definitely one of the next sought-after upcoming heroines of Tamizh cinema ! Vincent as Socrates was splendid with his unique dialogue delivery style and comic timing. The rest of the cast such as 'Gemini' Rajeswari, Aarthi Ganesh, 'Yaar' Kannan, Bharathi Kannan, Jacob, Yogi Devaraj, Floent C.Pereira, Vetrivel Raja, Balasubramanian, 'Mime' Gopi, Archana Ravi, Divya and etc did a good job as well and blended well into the story-line. A very good work in terms of casting by Prabhu Solomon. Don't miss out the special cameo appearance by Prabhu, as well !

Technically, 'Kayal' speaks volumes for the hard-work put in by all technicians and putting into account, that the film's budget was on a moderate scale, what the makers have achieved is something everyone should appreciate. VFX by F!REFLY though not top-notch, was very convincing, and they have handled the water elements very well, for the tsunami portions. Tapas Nayak's Dolby Atmos sound mixing added more value to those sequences, and its an experience watching it in Dolby Atmos-available theaters. V.P Senthil Azhagan is in charge of costume designing and his work minimal, though it was very apt for the script and each artiste looked the character they portrayed. 'Miracle' Michael's action choreography was functional and sufficed the needs of the script. Vairabalan deserves applause for his meticulous production design and art work in pulling off the tsunami-ravaged coastal area set-up. Every set-work looked very realistic and brings out the ugly and sorrowful state of the tsunami-affected areas. Watch out for the opening scene, where Chandran stands on top of a left-over staircase ! I.Samuel 2:8 takes care of the editing work and though the climax portion was well cut, the film could do better with some trimming, especially in the first half, which takes its own sweet time unraveling. Complementing the screenplay and Prabhu Solomon's vision is Vetrivel Mahendran's cinematography work. The makers have taken us to every nook and corner of India, unexplored by Tamizh cinema before. The awesome visuals gives us a feeling of watching National Geographic or Discovery Channel documentaries. The climax scene, shot in Kanyakumari, featuring the Valluvar statue and Vivekanandha Ashram, set against the monstrous tsunami, was very eye-catching. Very well, done !

D.Imman's musical composition serves as the backbone of the film. The Prabhu Solomon-D.Imman-Yugabharathi combo has served another simple, melodious and soothing track numbers, in which some of them are absolute haunting numbers. "Paravayaa Parakurom", is a travelogue-type song and features Chandran and Vincent, exploring various parts of India such as Leh, Ladakh, Kaargil, Ajmer, Pushkar, Cherapunji, Shilom, Meghalaya, Kanyakumari and etc. The locations were breath-taking and serves as a great canvas for Vetrivel Mahendran's lenses. "Engirunthu Vanthayo" is a haunting number sang by Shreya Ghoshal shot on Anandhi. The pathos song had the female character mired in a state of confusion. Check out the majestic and beautiful Living Root Bridges of Meghalaya, in this song ! "Yen Aala", shot is a montage-filled dream song, shot on both Chandran and Anandhi. The lush green orchards and naturally brightly-lit paddy fields serves as great backdrop for the song. Anandhi's expressions speaks hundreds of words, in this song ! "Koodave Vara" is a situational bit-song and featured the main leads in search of each other. "Unnai Ippo" is the pick of the lot and the soothing melody was featured montages of the lead pair, searching for each other in different portions. Anandhi's Kanyakumari shots were particularly noteworthy. "Deeyalo" was shot against a Christmas festival celebration backdrop and featured a real church festival as its location. The colorful lighting and crowd factor, added value to the song's concept. "Enge Pulla" sung by Balram, is a very haunting number and is shot on Chandran, getting caught and losing himself in the devastating tsunami waves. The dusty and chaotic atmosphere of a tsunami-affected area was aptly portrayed and presented. D.Imman's heavy and haunting background score helps to sustain Prabhu Solomon's melodramatic writing of his sequences. Though the songs are good, it sort of spoils the flow of the screenplay, especially when you have too many songs.

What worked big in 'Mynaa' and 'Kumki' was the love quotient between the lead pairs, which traveled throughout the films. But in 'Kayal', characters are the ones' travelling and the love takes a backseat ! The film's love angle has no depth in it and its too light to be taken serious. But, the stretch of sequences, which brings the hero and heroine to a meeting-point in the film, was brilliantly written and handled. Prabhu Solomon's handling of drama, comedy and love in those portions was dealt in a nifty manner. The earthy background and simple characters, brings a refreshing element into the script, and the melodrama in the film, certainly helps to elevate some portions of the film. The problem starts when Prabhu Solomon tries too hard and too much in establishing the melodramatic moments, and overdoes it. A little bit of underplaying, would have done wonders to the film. In 'Kayal', nature plays the spoilsport of the lovers, but as mentioned earlier, the impact it needed to create was not powerful enough, to drench us into a sorrow and pitiful state. Prabhu Solomon's quirky humor element worked out well, especially with the character and supporting artistes. Prabhu Solomon could have toned down the philosophical-heavy scenes in the first half, which gets preachy at times. With 'Kayal' Prabhu Solomon tries hard to churn out an classic which can stand against the test of times, like how the lead pair stood against the tsunami, but unfortunately, the film doesn't reach that dizzy heights, though its good in bits and pieces.

'Kayal' - Anandhi is a 'Kayal' indeed !

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS


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