Tamil Reviews

Kayal Review: Rustic Finery

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Actress Anandhi in Kayal Movie StillsFor a Prabu Solomon movie, Kayal is quite verbose when it begins. But yet the verbals have a philosophical drift and a tenor that is distinctly Prabu Solomon. As soon as introductions are made – Aaron and Socrates are two men with wanderlust, living out of rucksacks – the director gets down to business, launching into an elaborate discourse on life. He raises some existential questions through Aaron, and staunchly defends their wandering lifestyle to a bunch of sneering cops. Solomon talks quite a lot here. And, he makes the policemen talk too. He’s methodical about it, crafting scenes cannily; asking questions, and providing answers, and subtly weaving in little nuggets about the past so that the moments lend themselves over harmoniously.

And when Solomon has had his outburst, he mellows down just enough to let Aaron (debutant Chandran) takeover.

Aaron does it capitally. Clinically scruffy as can be, with a wild, wild beard, tousled hair ….and a beautiful pair of eyes. Orphaned young, he has a bosom friend in Socrates (fondly called Saaku), and is destined to fall in love with a woman – ironically named – Kayal Vizhi (Anandhi).

*****

Following Mynaa and Kumki, Kayal continues Solomon’s love of two-syllabled titles and the great outdoors. He delights in simple pleasures. Rustic finery. And when he decides to do something lavish, Solomon doesn’t look elsewhere. He draws inspiration for everything small, big and giant, from nature. Here, he simply employs a huge wave.

His tale is set amidst the trees, on the sea, and on dusty roads, flanked by lush greenery on either side. And when he has to take his story indoors, Solomon is minimalist. The romance he portrays isn’t flashy either. It’s alarming in its naivete, raw in passion, and austere in its simplicity. Dreamy. Separate it from the thread of the beautiful musical score and the rustic locales, and it would be nothing short of hilarious. But Solomon doesn’t leave that to our imagination, either. He breaks into our reverie, and quickly displaces his story, setting it under the harsh glare of city lights. He also employs a sharp rap of reality in the form of a woman cop. And in that moment, we are shown those two extremes – one, a woman-child barely out of her teens, naively optimistic, clutching a torn shred of cloth; and the other – a hardened lady cop – cynical to the same degree.

*****

Unlike Kumki, Solomon offers closure in Kayal. And quite like Mynaa, it’s closure on the face of devastation. It isn’t all too bleak, for as the director systematically hacks away at all tropes of romance, he takes a few liberties with the larger picture; one too many songs, overwhelmingly negative (and positive) profile sketches, and a stellar Prabu Solomon moment:

When Aaron learns that Kayal does like him, he dissolves into tears. But there’s wild happiness on his face. He looks more feral than ever.

*****

 The Kayal review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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