Kasethan Kadavulada Movie Review: Very few laughs in this rather disappointing remake of a 70s classic

Kasethan Kadavulada Movie Review: Very few laughs in this rather disappointing remake of a 70s classic

Sloppy dialogue delivery and forcefully fit one-liners make Kasethan Kadavulada too superficial 
Rating:(1.5 / 5)

In 1972, one of AVM Productions’ biggest commercial successes was released. Chitralaya Gopu's Kasethan Kadavulada became a blockbuster success and Thengai Srinivasan's role as a fake godman continues to be a classic. So when R Kannan's remake of Kasethan Kadavulada was announced, it is but natural to be excited about the prospects, and see how it has been tailored to suit modern sensibilities. However, the film is not just a poor remake but fails to be even a quality standalone product. 

Director: R Kannan
Cast: Shiva, Karunakaran, Urvashi, Yogi Babu, Priya Anand

Starring Shiva, Urvashi, Yogi Babu and Karunakaran in lead roles, Kasethan Kadavulada has the same story as its original. Shiva’s Ramu and Karunakaran’s Murali join hands with Babu (Yogi Babu) to steal money from their own house after their dominating sister-in-law Sharadha (Urvashi) does not give them the money they rightfully deserve.

Kannan has made only a few changes to the screenplay when compared to the original story. For example, In the 1972 version of the film, the control of the household is in the hands of Lakshmi (Manorama), the stepmother of Muthuraman’s Ramu. Here, Sharadha is Ramu’s sister-in-law, who is given the rights to the property by Ramu’s late father. Similarly, Kannan has also liberally changed the climax, which is probably only the saving grace.

The film was originally shot in 2021, so a lot of references are made to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is not exactly relevant now. Still, this isn’t one of the bigger problems of the film. The one-liners are the backbone of this film, but unfortunately, most of these 'jokes' miss the target as it almost looks like the actors were mechanically saying the words, instead of delivering the lines. 

For example, in a scene where Urvashi’s Sharadha is reminded that she doesn’t have children of her own, she says, "Enakkum veetla visesham varum da,” (a self-reference to her previous film, Veetla Visesham). This would have worked provided there was lip-sync and that she delivered it with more conviction. The comedy seems like a force fit in most places. An assembly line of punch dialogues is delivered one after the other in the hope that the law of averages would make at least one of them funny. The makers should have understood that comedy isn't just about getting the rhyme scheme right. 

Ideally, a remake of a film originally made five decades back, should receive a modern upgrade. For instance, if the original sidelined its women characters, the remake should try to right that wrong. Ironically, Priya Anand has lesser scope than what her counterpart Lakshmi had in the original Kasethan Kadavulada. Even actors like Karunakaran, Subbu Panchu, and Thalaivasal Vijay are underutilised to a great extent.

With a very simple storyline, the original Kasethan Kadavulada is still remembered for the outstanding performance of the cast. But here, even the potential of a talented comedian like Yogi Babu is wasted, as most of his dialogues seem ad-libbed as none seem to have lipsync. A sense of lethargy is seen in many of the scenes, almost making us question the efforts of the makers. In fact, despite the names involved in the project, Kasethan Kadavulada looks like an amateur stage play where the actors have forgotten their lines, but aren't the least bothered about the same. 

But not all is bad for the remake as there are a few moments of laughter in this film. The song Jambulingame Jadadhara (composed by MS Viswanathan) has been placed with the same authenticity in the adaptation. Even with similar lyrics and performances, the comedy still works like a charm. The changes in the climax bolstered by a hilarious action bit, and a touch of sentimentality work in favour of the film. 

Once again, with a solid script like Kasethan Kadavulada, Kannan could have done wonders with the remake, especially with the stars — Shiva, Karunakaran, Urvashi, Yogi Babu — at his disposal.  However, it fails to engage and entertain even on a basic level. Sloppy dialogue delivery and forcefully fit one-liners make Kasethan Kadavulada a largely superficial remake that makes one think if the kaasu spent on the film was even worth it. 

Cinema Express