The attempt to make a decently engaging hyperlink film deserves a pat, though it has a few shortcomings. The screenplay is one of the highlights of the movie which is aided by some dedicated performances.
A poster of Kasada Tabara
Story: A tale of six episodes, the film narrates a slew of intriguing incidents which happen in the lives of a few Chennai-based people, who belong to different walks of life. The small actions of a few of them lead to major changes in the lives of other in good and bad ways.
Review: The makers of Kasada Tabara had earlier revealed that the film, which has six episodes, all linked together, is based on vantage point theory and butterfly effect. Director Chimbudeven, who has roped in different musicians, cinematographers and editors for each episodes, has ensured that all the six shorts, which feature people with contrasting behaviours, aspirations and lifestyles, have varied colour palette and aspect ratios. Though this helps in establishing a separate identity for each of the episodes, the visual experience, at times, becomes jarring. But the engaging characters, relatable emotions and performances by some artists in a few episodes make up for it.
The first episode, which narrates the romantic relationship between Bala (Premgi), a happy-go-lucky guy and Trisha (Regina), an ambitious girl, makes for an interesting watch, thanks to some of the dialogues and the slow, but neatly-woven screenplay which also offers a superb twist towards the end. Premgi is effortless in the role of a care-free guy who works in a pharmaceutical company, while Regina seems comfortable in her character, that of an ambitious, yet practical girl whose life turns topsy-turvy when she goes through an unexpected circumstance.
Sampath, Shanthnu and Sendrayan impress in the next episode, the genre of which, is quite contrasting to the first episode. What looks like a beautiful family tale in the beginning evolves as a story surrounding gang wars and police encounter. Sampath, plays a notorious gangster who wants his son, played by Shanthnu, to settle abroad and live a happy life with his lady love, unlike him who is caught between cops and goons. However, the latter had other plans. The episode ends in a mediocre manner, but the way in which the director connects it with third episode is captivating, thanks to ample twists and turns.
Sundeep Kishan and Priya Bhavani Shankar play the leads in the third episode which has the former essaying a cop who struggles between family issues and constant belittling from his senior, played by Subbu Panchu. Sundeep, with his subtle expressions, manages to convey a gamut of emotions and brings some swag in action sequences. Subbu excels as the crooked cop and a casteist, who looks down upon his subordinate.
Harish Kalyan, who is known for his boy-next-door characters, has broken his image in the next episode of the film, by playing an unapologetic conman. The strategic ways in which he befriends an ambitious businessman, essayed by Arvind Akash, only to loot his money, are engaging, to say the least. The former's role reminds one of Natty from Sathuranga Vettai. Arvind, too, appears apt for the role of a naïve, aspiring businessman.
Vijayalakshmi, as a doting mother who struggles to buy medicine for his child, puts up one of the best performances in the film in its penultimate episode. Be it the sense of helplessness when she realizes she doesn't have money for her child's treatment, or the gratitude she has for a person who saves her life, or the regret that she is indirectly responsible for many children in her locality falling ill, or the happiness on her face when several people thanks her for being the saviour of many kids, the actress pulls off varied emotions quite impressively and carries the episode single-handedly on her shoulders.
Another surprising performance comes from Venkat Prabhu, who is also one of the presenters of the movie. The role of a middle-class family man, who gets nabbed by cops from his home, for a mistake he hasn't committed, is also the most moving tale among all the episodes. After getting cheated by the owner of his company, he gets death sentence, leaving his family in distress. The sequences involving his family, especially with his wife on the day before he is hanged, creates a lasting impact, thanks to the staging of the scenes and performance.
Director Chimbudeven succeeds to a good extent in bringing together different tales, which touch upon varied emotions of people hailing from diverse background and different aspirations. Some of the characters are relatable and a few impress us with their performances. On the downside, there are some incomplete moments which make us wanting for more. The inconsistency in aspect ratio and lack of etching out a few characters and their emotions, too, affect the story flow, despite the engaging twists. RD Raja Sekar and Vijay Milton's cinematography stand out, apart from Yuvan Shankar Raja and Santhosh Narayanan's music
Verdict: The attempt to make a decently engaging hyperlink film deserves a pat, though it has a few shortcomings. The screenplay is one of the highlights of the film which is aided by some dedicated performances. A little more attention to developing some characters would have made it a completely engrossing watch.
Kasada Tabara is currently streaming on SonyLIV.