���Kasada Tabara��� Movie Review: A Broken Hyperlink Affair

<���Kasada Tabara��� Movie Review: A Broken Hyperlink Affair>

Language: Tamil

I remember Chimbu Devan not for his highly successful Imsai Arasan 23-aam Pulikesi (2006), but for his widely dissed fantasy adventure film Puli (2015). It is the film that actor Vijay experimented with between his standard cop-rowdy-comedy-action-drama-loosu heroine-dance fares that were Kaththi (2014) and Theri (2016). Puli is by no means a classic, but it is evidence that Chimbu Devan can mount something unusual, even delightful, within the mainstream Tamil cinema universe. Six years later, he achieves something similar with Kasada Tabara — a complex story about the intermingling of lives — to just about the same amount of success.

Kasada Tabara is hyperlink cinema, a collection of multiple linear stories connected loosely by some idea or event. "It's not an anthology," the makers announced repeatedly as if to reassure the audiences that they will not have to experience another Navarasa. But this isn't a singular narrative either, as you'd expect from any full-length feature. Kasada Tabara is six short stories that intertwine in creative ways.

Chimbu Devan's biggest success in Kasada Tabara is the people with who he populates his film with. We understand his world, even feel like we belong in it, only because the characters seem real — flawed, confused and vulnerable.

It also helps that the actors do an incredible job. Bala, played by a fresh and underrated Premji Amaren, in the first short film, is the average nice guy. Annachi (Sampath), in the second, is a vulnerable father. The mother-in-law in the third film is confused and scared. Sundari (a fantastic Vijayalakshmi) combines strength and desperation, taking punches on her chin. The helpless Samyutha (Venkat Prabhu in his element) is gut-wrenching. Venkat Prabhu as Samyutha carries his short almost entirely on his shoulders. We see him move from grateful to hopeful to aghast to broken to resigned within a few minutes, a journey through which he grabs us by the neck and takes us along.

Premgi Amaren standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: A still from Kasada Thabara © Provided by Firstpost A still from Kasada Thabara

Vijayalakshmi is fantastic as a desperate single mother. There is a fight scene in which she uses her entire body to fight off her attackers, channelling her life's rage into every punch. It’s a shame we don’t see enough of her in our films. Subbu Panchu as DC Chaturvedi embodies the benevolent oppressor. The actors who play the parents in the fourth film are frightfully gullible. Aravind Aakash as their spoilt rich son is adequate. For a film that has such a huge cast, it gets most of it right.

As a whole, Kasada Tabara works. But it fails terribly in the details. Every short story is reduced to its barebones to fit within the time it has. For instance, the con artist film featuring Harish Kalyan moves too quickly, expecting us to believe that a small-town boy will know the ways of the underworld, without ever showing what makes him so smart. It reduces heartless conniving dons to a bumbling mush of emotions. It seems too easy.

The blossoming love between Bala and Trisha (Priya Bhavani Shankar) is barely convincing. Would an ambitious woman who seeks to make millions give up on her dreams and embrace the live-in-the-moment life because a nice guy told her about it? The second film featuring Sampath, Shantanu and Uma Padmanabhan is also hasty. It stages the dead father's chair conveniently left in the veranda for the son to fall into despair. Even worse is when the son explains his anguish to his hitman — where no explanation was necessary at all, the wide shot did the job perfectly well.

The third film featuring Sandeep Kishan is confused. Chimbu Devan writes an entire short arguing against custodial violence, only to put an andhar balti (360-degree somersault) in the end. The film has meaningful discussions around policing, violence and morality. But makes a bizarre excuse to justify the hero embracing the gun.

As I watched the nearly 2.5 hour-long film, I couldn't help but wonder if Chimbu Devan is striving to include every idea he ever had in the last six years into this film. Each film occupies a semi-specific genre — a love story, a mob drama, a thriller, a con caper, a legal procedural, each having a different cinematographer, musician and editor. To his credit, they all flow along pretty well.

Premgi Amaren, Harish Kalyan, Sundeep Kishan, Shanthanu Bhagyaraj posing for the camera: Kasada_Tabara © Provided by Firstpost Kasada_Tabara

However, the 'high concept' nature of the film is more hindrance than anything else. Kasada Tabara begins with an explanation of the film's theoretical underpinnings, not one but two, vantage point theory and the butterfly effect, the animation taking the shape of a literal butterfly in the opening credits. Then, the names of the short films form a crossword puzzle. The characters discuss the ecology cycle at one point. And several people talk about "thappupanradhu" (doing a crime) and "maattikkardhu" (getting caught), that I couldn't keep up on the philosophy. Yugi Sethu as lord Krishna packs every microsecond of screen time he has with awkward alliterations and unwarranted observations.

These act like notations for the film, tapping us out of whatever suspension of disbelief we might be able to muster while watching it from the comforts and distractions of our home. Devan is so hell-bent on these 'concepts' and 'themes' that in a scene where a cop is asking a death row inmate for his last wish, he quotes statistics: "27% of inmates are innocent like you," the cop laments, quickly following it up with, "let that go, now tell me what you want." This scene, an intensely poignant moment, acted so well by the two, is killed by the unnecessary dialogue.

The same happens in a police station scene where a cop lectures to a mother of a child in pain about how fools land the rest of us in trouble. And another time when a doctor lectures about not wearing a white coat to the mother, before caring for the child. None of these is necessary, mind you. The scenes could have used the subtlety if the characters just went on with the action, without the dialogue. But no. It is as if Chimbu Devan cannot resist the temptation to offer commentary on his own film.

Kasada Thabara works not because of its high-concept foundation but despite it. If you can mentally eliminate the commentary track, the film itself is quite enjoyable.

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-in/entertainment/entertainmenttopstories/kasada-tabara-movie-review-an-enjoyable-anthology-with-flawed-real-characters/ar-AANPLhI

Filed Under: MSN
Kasada Tabara movie review: An enjoyable anthology with flawed, real characters


Kasada Tabara movie review: An enjoyable anthology with flawed, real characters