Karumegangal Kalaigindrana Movie Review: A testing, emotionally-distant drama
It is a tricky business to make films based on short stories. The intrigue in the short form narrative tend to get lost in a three-hour-long feature, when it is not aided by compelling making and well-adapted screenplay. Thangar Bachan's Karumengangal Kalaigindrana unfortunately suffers exactly from the same problems. Made from the short story Karumengangal Yen Kalaigindrana? written by the director himself, the film loses steam in the initial minutes, and never gains it back. Take for instance, the opening sequence that establishes the broken, superficial relationships between the children of Justice Ramanathan(Bharathiraja), who are running after money in various parts of the world. Instead of giving a glimpse into their world highlighting their money-mindedness, we get a concall where the three actually spell-out their vices and regrets to the audience. This would have been an effective idea in a radio drama, but cinema is a visual medium which needs a more innovative, refined writing. Perhaps, a reimagination of them recounting the moment where they began to drift apart from their father and his values, would have been an interesting alternative.
Cast: Bharathiraja, Yogi Babu, Gautham Menon, Saaral, Aditi Balan
Director: Thangar Bachan
Karumengangal Kalaigindrana is a simple story of two strangers finding the key to each others problems when they crosspaths. But this simple yet functional plot is marred by the needlessly convoluted screenplay, which keeps saving crucial details for a series of revals in the latter half. The attempt to kindle our curiosity by Thangar Bachan is evident in these scenes, but when we hardly know the protagonists and their lives, it becomes quite hard to empathise with their plight and emotional travails. Take for instance, Yogi Babu's Veeramani, who gets breaten up and shunned upon by everyone. We know the character means well from the beginning, however the inicident that put him in such a pitiable spot is revealed only towards the very end, by then we either guess the reveal or are scantly interested to learn about it.
With a couple of able performers in the cast, we expect things to be in safe territory on the acting front. But, they can do so much when their characters are uninote and predictable. The ever-dependable GV Prakash's music also feels helpless and fails to elevate the emotions in the better moments of Karumegangal Kalaigindrana.
Though the film has its heart in the right place, means well and tries to transcend a message on the importance of family, second chances and forgiveness, the dated staging, reminding us of TV soaps from the early 90s, weighs down every other merit. It is quite shocking that Thangar Bachan, the man who is known for beautifully capturing the intricate emotions and shades of people, has delivered such a superficial and numb drama.
Karumengangal Kalaigindrana translates to 'dark clouds are drifting apart'. This perhaps is a metaphor for the withering relationships in the story. However, the factors that got drifted the farthest away from Karumengangal Kalaigindrana are emotional engagement and innovative storytelling.