Vasu (Vaibhav) arrives in Chennai with an ambition.
It’s not any different from the one that Velan (Singaravelan) had harboured years ago.
Oru ponna paakanum, kadhalikkanam, kalyanam kattikanum…
Naturally, Vasu of Kappal has a friend – Nelson (VTV Ganesh) – who has to say “idhu allavo latchiyam!” when he learns about the former’s aspirations.
In Singaravelan, the friends would stop with cheers, but in Kappal, Nelson’s life is at stake as well. All in the name of love.
But none of it is overdone.
Even scenes that could turn morose remain funny. Well in accordance with Kappal’s motive: to make the audience laugh.
Unsurprisingly, I hear laughter as I enter the theatre.
“Ivanunga thaanga en friends,” Vasu is seen narrating onscreen.
A hilarious scene is on: Five school boys are devising a strategy to make their teacher revise their exam score.
There aren’t many films that employ classroom jokes to good effect. Pandiarajan’s Manaivi Ready was one. And now, Kappal comes as a breath of fresh air.
What could have been a crass joke is handled with finesse in Kappal. Director Karthik G Krish has a way with things.
Picture this: A young Vasu and his friends are watching an enactment of The Mahabarata in school. The Pandavas bring Draupadi to their mother, who is meditating. She says, “edhuvaaga irundhaalum, aivarum samamaaga pagirndhu kollungal!”
The boys are far from scandalised. Instead, they hit upon a solution to their most pressing problem.
When they execute it successfully, my neighbour wipes off the tears rolling down his cheeks.
“Sirichi sirichi kanla thanni,” he says.
*****The director is Shankar’s former assistant alright. Kappal is packed with little tributes to the filmmaker. That aside, Karthik G Krish’s style of filmmaking is quite similar to that of his mentor.
For instance, in one of the funniest scenes, Vasu wages a verbal war against a group of thugs. As he employs profane language, (green) Tamil alphabets fly out of his mouth.
Remember the slew of arrows that a stunning Gauthami removes from her ears in Chikku Bukku?
At no point does Kappal veer from its agenda. Vasu doesn’t wield an uruttukattai, instead his way of dealing with a situation is creative.
He just doesn’t miss an opportunity to prove that he is no hero.
The situation comedy in Kappal is a respite from Tamil cinema’s recent fixation with one-liners. Krish’s characters are genuinely funny, and naive.
Yes, they are silly sometimes, but they provide double as many laughs, and I turn indulgent.
Vasu meets Deepika (Sonam Bajwa) in a place that Tamil cinema heroines don’t frequent. She’s not in a temple; neither is she herding a group of children nor volunteering at an old-age home.
She is in that place.
When Vasu runs into Deepika, she’s quite drunk. And thankfully, no moral sermon follows. That’s none of anybody’s business, and the director knows it.
Also, in one of the scenes that could be easily missed, a disheartened Deepika downs glasses of liquor. While I expect Vasu to get drunk as well, a cute role-reversal happens.
Kappal is like that old joke, which only gets better with age. It also sustains the good spirit that the riotous pattimandram of Solomon Papaiya offers on festive mornings.
Needless to say, it has been a very merry Christmas indeed.
PS: The song rendered by Santhosh Narayanan – the background number for Vasu’s verbal war – is weight-u.
The Kappal 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.