Masanth Natarajan, Vatsan M Natarajan
Masanth Natarajan, Vatsan M Natarajan

Kayamai Kadakka Review: An intriguing slow-burner

Kayamai Kadakka means 'crossing the depraved/immoral behaviour' and the film tries to convey this idea by having two individuals with conflicting beliefs at the helm
Rating:(3 / 5)

Kayamai Kadakka begins with two Facebook friends, both named Santosh, meeting for the first time. One is a meek, soft-spoken person (Masanth Natarajan) while the other one (Vatsan M Natarajan) has a mysterious aura to him. They both share similar thoughts about crimes against women, which has brought them closer in cyberspace. While the former is one among many keyboard warriors who call for the heads of rapists, the other one believes in implementing the same in real life.

Kayamai Kadakka means 'crossing the depraved/immoral behaviour'. Debutant director Kiran R tries to convey this idea by having two individuals with conflicting beliefs at the helm. Santosh, who is in a vigilante mode tries to inspire the other Santosh to be part of what he calls a movement. Though initially apprehensive, the latter eventually ends up crossing the threshold of morality.

The film works on a psychological level as there is a constant tussle when it comes to whom we, the audience, should root for. While both the lead characters want justice to be served, one believes in playing by the system while the other wants to be the judge, jury, and executioner. Towards the end, a sense of ambiguity creeps in as we are left pondering about the possibility of a Fight Club-like narrative.

Director: Kiran R

Cast: Masanth Natarajan, Vatsan M Natarajan

Streaming on: Movie Saints

Though Kayamai Kadakka is shot with a 5-member crew on a minimal budget, the film's overall quality looks sleek with moody visuals and top-notch sound designing -- an integral part of indie films. The sober, mist-laden atmosphere that cinematographer Sundar Ram Krishnan creates amps up the mood for what is essentially a psychological thriller.

Most of the film's screentime is hogged by the two leads, Masanth Natarajan and Vatsan M Natarajan, and they both impress with refined performances. Masanth's Santosh is a meaty role with an overarching arc while Vatsan's has shades of both sanity and insanity, making it a challenging one to play.

Filmmaker Kiran respects the sensibilities of the audience and doesn't bother to spoon-feed the basics. There are quite a few instances where it is left to the audience to have a moment of introspection, and the leisurely pace at which the film moves also helps with the process. The film has many such promising takeaways and the minimal runtime of just around 100 minutes aids in keeping the plot watertight. With the right dose of relatable and convincing moments, the film deals with an issue that is not going away from society for a long time to come.

In short, Kayamai Kadakka is an intriguing addition to the Tamil indie scene.

Cinema Express