Kaithi starring Karthi in the lead role and Dheena, Narain and others in the crucial supporting roles is directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj and produced by SR Prabhu and SR Prakash Babu under the banner Dream Warrior Pictures. It has Sam CS as the music composer and Sathyam Sooryan as the director of photography.
The whole film deals with what happens on a single night when Dilli (played by an in-form Karthi), a prisoner who has just been released, gets involved in a cat and mouse game between a drug mafia and the police. Although the film majorly revolves around the clash between the mafia and the police, the story has a strong emotional connect in the form of Amudha, Dilli’s daughter. This emotion keeps us invested in the plot, than just engaging us.
The first half is filled with multiple gooseflesh moments due to the insane stunt choreography and Sam CS’ background score. The film is completely focussed to the plot and doesn’t deviate a bit. Dilli has a backstory and films of this genre takes a detour to show us that. But Lokesh manages to convey it all in a single dialogue, and it is highly convincing as well. This will be one of the most memorable roles in Karthi’s career. The way he emotes in the climax makes you shed a tear or two.
The film has many characters and each of them have a significant role to play. It is almost similar to Vada Chennai in terms of character treatment. Even the villains are treated with dignity. An important aspect of the film is the way in which the British rule in India is seamlessly blended with such a rooted story. There is a seemingly throwaway line about a Gatling gun which happens to become relevant much later in the film. Sathyan Sooryan’s camera work is a delight to watch, especially the fight sequences that take place in the sand quarry. The sand becomes a golden fleece on the dark night sky.
Releasing on the Diwali weekend, the film proves that you don’t always need a star driven commercial potboiler to satisfy the fans. Kaithi’s interval block is one of the best in the recent times and it received so much applause. Lokesh Kanagaraj shows his mastery over the craft and is ably supported by Sam CS and Sathyam Sooryan to make this a cracker of a film.
The film also has a lot of similarities to his first film Maanagaram. Both films have an open ending that leaves enough room for a sequel. The characters are well written. The commercial comprises are minimal, but more importantly Lokesh Kanagaraj has stamped his authority as a filmmaker one more time.