Director: Rajesh M Selva
Cast: Vikram, Akshara Haasan, Abi Hassan
During a scene in Rajesh Selva’s second directorial, Thoongavanam, Kamal Haasan and his son hide in a small chamber, away from their pursuers; the camera widens to lend a sweeping view of the room, and even as it takes Kamal a few seconds to realise where he is, and what he can do to save the day, the audience is a few scenes ahead waiting for the protagonists to catch up. In Selva’s third film Kadaram Kondaan, Vikram is held by his abductors when one of them shatters a bottle of alcohol. As the camera focuses on the liquid trail, you know there’s going to be a lighter somewhere – and that Vikram will wrangle his way out just as Kamal had in Selva’s first. It could be Rajesh Selva’s signature as director, of course – a mere reflex more than something done consciously – but if it were, it doesn’t make for an impressive one. Kadaram Kondaan is a star vehicle though, and thankfully, you don’t quite look past Vikram and his snazzy beard with
artful careless flecks of grey, zipped to the neck in a hot suit – one of those leather biker jackets if you must – and ducking past every Malaysian cop on his tail.
Vikram as KK is the tough guy for hire for every industrialist, business tycoon and the insanely rich, or so we are made to assume (in the French original, Roschdy Zem as Hugo Sartet is a safe-cracker). He has a mind of his own though, and god forbid if he’s taken for a ride by his employers as he’s in Kadaram Kondaan. But Vikram is a welcome distraction in this film directed by Rajesh M Selva who seems to have a penchant for tales involving abduction. The similarities don’t quite end there, of course – swap the actors, shuffle a few faces and plot elements, and Kadaram Kondaan could be Thoongavanam (also based on a French film Sleepless Night), right down to the righteous woman cop who remains oblivious to the crucial details involving her case until the last moment. These are not spoilers as such, for Kadaram Kondaan plays by Thoongavanam as if it were a rule book.
Rajesh Selva sets his third tale in Malaysia. In the opening scene, Vikram jumps off a ledge from the dizzying Petronas Towers, and tries to wriggle free from a couple of hitmen in hot pursuit. A few frames later, he overpowers a doctor after having been in acute respiratory distress a few moments earlier. Thanks to this inherent star quality of the film, there isn’t much that you are kept in the dark about it. Vikram, with his neat beard and cool swagger, owns the screen when it’s showtime – the hoots, from a mostly male audience, are reserved for him beginning till end. Abi Hassan, who plays part doctor, part aide to tough guy KK, and Akshara, who assumes the role of his pregnant wife are setup to be the sweet couple in love, violently torn apart by an unseemly occurrence – only, it doesn’t quite make the run home. Granted, there’s sympathy, but little else; there you are, watching Akshara tussle with a woman cop who tries to kill her, punches and kicks flow freely, and while you do grimace at the sight of a pregnant woman being beaten up (and the sound of her Tamil diction) and wish her ordeal would end soon, the feeling is entirely distant. The husband is right around the corner, you know, and even if he fails to save her, there
are is always Vikram, and his very characterful beard.
The Kadaram Kondaan review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.