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Review : Kadali – Disappointing flick
Kadali2 Release date: 01 Feb 2013 Rating : 2.5/5
Director : Mani Ratnam
Producer : Mani Ratnam, A. Manohar Prasad
Music Director : A. R. Rahman
Starring : Gautham, Thulasi, Arjun, Aravind Swamy

Mani Ratnam’s Kadali has been in the news for more than one reason. First, it marks the launch of two star kids in Gautam Kartik and Tulasi and secondly is the comeback film for Aravind Swamy. Music by A R Rahman, especially the Gunjukunna song has created a decent buzz for the movie. Kadali also stars action king Arjun and Lakshmi Manchu in other roles. The movie has finally released amidst yet another big budget film Ongolu Gitta today, so let’s see how it is.


Berchmans(Arjun) and Sam(Aravind Swamy) are members of a christian missionary, who are getting trained to become holy fathers in future. One day an unexpected event occurs and Sam complaints against Berchmans who is eventually kicked out of the Church. An angry Berchmans pledges to Sam that he will return back and take his revenge.

As time passes by Sam is posted as a holy father in a small fishing village. He slowly gathers people around him, and also instills religiousness in the village. During this phase, he also gives shelter to an orphan named Thomas(Gautam Kartik) and takes good care of him.

One fine day Sam happens to meet Berchmans, and this meeting lands Sam in big trouble.

While all this is going on, Thomas happens to meet Beatrice(Tulasi) and falls in love with her, only to realise that she is the daughter of Berchmans. Rest of the film is as to how Thomas helps Father Sam, and fights against Berchmans to win his love.

Positive Points:

Kadali is an out and out Arjun and Aravind Swamy film. Both of them suit their roles perfectly. Arjun looks good and plays the perfect bad guy. He has dubbed with his own voice, which gives more edge to his character. Aravind Swamy gets a meaty role, which he delivers with ease. He plays the role of Church father with peace and sincerity.

Gautam Kartik makes a decent debut with Kadali. He suits his role and has been well trained for his character. On the other hand, the female lead Tulasi does not have much to do in the first half and looks OK . Laksmi Manchu’s cameo is neat.

Negative Points:

As in all Mani Ratnam movies, pace of the movie is very slow. Some scenes involving Aravind Swamy and his preachings, could have been easily removed. The romantic track between the couple lacks clarity. Heroine’s character has hardly any weight, and is utilized only in the last half hour of the movie.

The romantic elements which all Mani Ratnam films have, are completely missing in this film. Some scenes have been dragged out, and the realistic approach might not be liked by all.

The movie has absolutely no comedy or any fun moments in the film. As the first half of the movie looks interesting and nicely set up, second half is a big set back. The pace drops drastically and the films starts to waver.

The absence of any commercial values will make this film tough to appreciate for regular cinema lovers.

Technical Aspects:

As in all Mani Ratnam films, Kadali is high on technical values. Camera work by Rajeev Menon is stunning. The movie is based near the beaches and the locales have been captured beautifully.

A R Rahman’s music is ok and the sole hit number ‘Gunjukunna’ comes only in the background. The background score is good. Dialogues are OK but some heavy duty Christianity related words have been used. Lyrics of the movie are poetic and the editing is good. Screenplay is just about OK.


On a whole, Kadali is a film completely based on Arjun and Aravind Swamy. Slow paced narration, weak romantic track and lack of a gripping screenplay go against the film. Kadali is a not Mani Ratnam’s best work. If you are hell bent on watching it, go without any expectations.

123telugu Rating – 2.5 /5

Reviewed by Avad M


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