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Kalaga Thalaivan movie review: Udhayanidhi, Arav stand out in this thriller which offers a few high moments

The suspense-laden sequence in a railway station and the gripping climax episode are well-executed scenes, but the movie lacks such successive engaging sequences 

3/5rating
Kalaga Thalaivan movie review: Udhayanidhi, Arav stand out in this thriller which offers a few high moments

A poster of the film

  • Thinkal Menon

Last Updated: 12.58 PM, Nov 18, 2022

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Story: A leading automobile company introduces a fuel efficient vehicle to the market. However, their technical team finds that it emits harmful pollution which will pose severe threats to people. The news gets leaked before the think tank of the firm decides to keep the matter under wraps. They come up with the list of a few employees who might have leaked the information, and hire a cold-blooded hitman to track down the black sheep.  

Review: The striking aspect in Magizh Thirumeni's films is the effective manner in which he stages some of the regular sequences. The intriguing fashion with which he approaches scene divisions and conflicts elevate the momentum, offering a high to the viewers.

Kalaga Thalaivan, starring Udhayanidhi in the lead, has Magizh's touches in several scenes. It is his stamp, which is evident in a few episodes, that turns a done-to-death plot into a riveting array of sequences.

A popular automobile firm announces the arrival of its new vehicle that claims attractive fuel efficiency. But they soon find that there is a downside to it; the vehicle has chances of emitting high levels of pollution. The highly confidential fact gets leaked from an unknown source.

The company's owner hires a professional hitman to track down the employee who is responsible for the leakage. After struggling for a while, the latter manages to find the person he is searching for. But the unknown man is smarter than the hitman thinks and has a solid reason for his act.      

A poster of the film
A poster of the film

A big revelation pertaining to the film's protagonist Thirukumaran (Udhayanidhi) is revealed only in the compelling climax sequence. Until then, the director has successfully managed to keep the movie's genre under wraps. The revenge drama, which is disguised as a crime thriller, is actually one man's acts of vengeance against a corporate firm.

Films that deal with corporate bashing are nothing new to Tamil cinema, but what makes Kalaga Thalaivan different from the run-of-the-mill flicks that are centered around similar plot is its clever writing, neat execution and suspense-filled characters.

Thirukumaran's intro scene provides us ample hints about his characteristics, which helps the movie's screenplay and proceedings, too. The mystery associated with the character keeps us glued to the screen. Udhayanidhi's body language of a smart, agile corporate employee reminds us of a few of his previous outings, but the manner in which he reacts to certain situations makes us connect with him.

The major positive aspect of the movie is the cat-and-mouse game between Thirukumaran and Arjun (Arav), the hitman, who is hell-bent on finding the former. It's been a while Tamil cinema has witnessed an intelligent antagonist who could pose threat to the protagonist physically and mentally. Arav fits the bill in the role of the leader of a cruel gang who doesn't mind resorting to committing wild crimes and mental torture.  

Udhayanidhi in Kalaga Thalaivan
Udhayanidhi in Kalaga Thalaivan

The terrific suspense-laden sequence in a railway station and the gripping climax action episode are examples of well-written and executed scenes, aided by R Sakthi Saravanan's stunt choreography. A protagonist tracking down the antagonist is quite common in action films, but here, the scenario gets reversed.

Only a handful of films like Thuppakki have had a clever antagonist attempting to hunt down the protagonist with minimal clues in the vicinity. Kalaga Thalaivan, too, joins the list now, but what stops the movie from joining the likes of the former is the lack of successive engaging sequences.

Nidhhi Agerwal, who plays the female lead, isn't reduced to a typical heroine, but it is a role which could have been better. She, however, appears apt especially in the last few sequences she features in. Kalaiyarasan and Jeeva Ravi stand out with their performances, while Angana Roy, Anupama Kumar and Vigneshkanth make their presence felt.

K Dhillraj's cinematography and Arrol Corelli's background score play a vital part in creating the required mood for the revenge drama.

Verdict: Kalaga Thalaivan has a few compelling sequences that are aided by fine technical aspects. The conflict between protagonist and antagonist is the highlight of the movie which could have been better in terms of screenplay. 

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