Adhe Kangal starts perfectly and sets up the tone for the movie. In fact, the love that blossoms between Varun (Kalaiarasan) and Deepa (Shivada) is tentative, and it gives you that uneasy feeling. But slowly, Rohin (the director) chooses to flounder with his screenplay. He meanders around, throws in a couple of songs and brings in comedy that doesn’t suit the narrative – although Bala Saravanan is a good actor, the movie doesn’t need him. As a new director, he is undecided whether to go ballistic or play it safe. As a viewer, you leave the theatre with the same question in mind.
For instance, Shivada’s character sketch is mind blowing. It’s one of the strong characters you have seen in recent times and hats off to Rohin for avoiding the Tamil cinematic cliches when you write such a character. Shivada pulls it off with aplomb and carries the movie on her shoulders. And at the same time, he has a weak characterisation for his lead and Kalaiarasan couldn’t do justice to the character. This imbalance and hesitation are visible throughout the movie.
Another factor that marred the movie for me was the background score, and I really couldn’t understand the cartoonish, playful theme song that plays during the crucial scenes. Is it an experimentation from Ghibran? If so, it has failed miserably. Even silence would have done a better job in those scenes than his music.
Having said that, Adhe Kangal is a valid attempt and a good entry ticket for the director and a new team in Tamil cinema. It doesn’t bore you, nor it engulfs you. I wished the director stretched his wings a little bit more. I felt the same with Thegidi. A straightforward thriller with some decent acting and tries to stay on the border. Few people asked whether I like the movie or not, and I gave them a blank face.
A 2.5/5 for Adhe Kangal for the impeccable writing of Shivada’s character and her portrayal of the same.
PS: I wish Janani Iyer had a better role in the movie.