Kadaseela Biriyani Movie Review: A dark, yet hilarious film
A well-written, outlandish film with interesting performances
It has become almost passe to see reviews describing films as 'roller-coaster rides', but really, walking out of the theatre after watching Kadaseela Biriyani, that’s how it felt. The film makes you laugh hysterically, delivers adrenaline rushes, surprises you with its violence, and like with a roller-coaster ride—if you like them—I even found myself wishing the film lasted longer...
Director: Nishanth Kalidindi
Cast: Vijay Ram, Hakkim Shahjahan, Vasanth Selvam, Dinesh Mani, Rishab, Augustine R Kevin
During a crucial murder scene in the film, a killer shows a passport size photo of his father to a restrained man, and says, "Ivan dhaan da en appa, paakka comedy-a irundhalum romba nallavan!" Try not laughing, but even before you can catch your breath, something shocking happens. This is just the tip of the iceberg really. Towards the middle of the film, the narration (by Vijay Sethupathi) goes, “The moment I heard the story, it felt serious to me. But thinking about it, it does make me laugh out loud.” It felt reassuring to learn that the conflicting emotional reactions I was having, was all intended.
Director Nishanth Kalidindi manages this delicate balance throughout the film, with the film benefitting largely from its staging and performances. I enjoyed the character-writing too and the sheer range we get. I particularly liked Chikku Pandi (Vijay Ram) and Johan Kariya (Hakkim Shahjahan). In the hands of limited talents, these characters might have been difficult to tolerate, but these actors ensure we remain invested.
For a film that doesn't take serious things, well, seriously, I wonder if some will find it hard to buy its sentimental episodes. I found the shift to be quite organic though, and it’s notable that the longing of driver Gabriel (Rishab) for an ideal family and an ordinary life, is pretty much the common goal of all the main characters. The first two Pandi brothers plot a murder, yearning for some peace in their family, while Chikku Pandi aims to become a doctor for the same reason. Even the psychotic Johan commits his first murder as a teenager, longing for a family.
Despite being filled with newcomers, this film pleasantly surprises by delivering a finished product. The editing of Ignaitious Aswin and the cinematography of Azeem Mohammed and Hestin Jose Joseph deserve much praise.
Perhaps the only major setback is a rather predictable story. Though the screenplay strives to keep us invested, we can see where it is all headed and how it will all end. The trailer gave out a bit too much maybe? Or have we become over-exposed to similar stories? What can be said though is that the decision of Nishanth to keep the story the way it is in this film, signals the arrival of a daring filmmaker, one who declares the final frame of the film with the film’s title.