A fierce warrior who has never seen any defeat in his lifetime falls in love with a princess. Kills her father and brother, takes over the country but dies at the hands of the princess. He waits 100s of years until he tries to abduct her reincarnation in the present. This story is not the modified backstory of Kashmora’s Raj Naick but the crux of Nasser’s Devathai (1997) – one of the most underrated movies in Tamil cinema.
I am not saying that Gokul got inspired from Devathai, but it indeed brought back the memories of the film. Don’t be surprised if you get reminded of Harry Potter/Narnia when the car is sticking in a living tree or if you think that headless Raj Naick is an inspiration from Sleepy Hollow. Most scenes are going to remind you of some movie in the past.
Kashmora starts with the typical fake exorcist storyline – where the entire family of Karthi is in the business of cheating people by falsifying the presence of supernatural forces. They get duped into getting into a haunted palace, and they meet Raj Naick’s ghost and his 13 generals. Raj Naick compels Kashmora (Karthi) and his family to exorcise their spirits so that they can leave the earth. The rest of the movie is how Karthi and his family escape from the clutches of Raj Naick and his ghosts.
Kashmora is what you call an overkill of a genre. Started by the remake of The Quiet Family as Yamirukka Bayamey by DeeKay, this genre has been overexploited by the Tamil movie directors in the past two years. Except for one or two, none succeeded. Gokul has tried to add a bit of 300 and a bit of Vittalacharya and you get a mashup called Kashmora. There is no doubt that there are funny sequences in the movie especially the one where Karthi gets into the palace for the first time. He is a natural when it comes to comedy, but the good parts end there. The screenplay meanders like the head of Raj Naick and ends up nowhere. The director doesn’t take any effort to stitch the loose ends, and only questions remain at the end. While Karthi cake walks the role of fake exorcist, his Raj Naick fails to evoke any sense of scare in your head. The success of a character lies in the way he differentiates this character from his past roles. He repeats his body language so much that you might have doubt that Kashmora is the mirror image of Raj Naick (or vice versa). Although a small role, Nayanthara sizzles, but she couldn’t save the movie from the ultimate drudgery.
The other saving graces of Kashmora were the brilliant set designs by Rajeevan and the background score of Santhosh Narayanan (the songs are mobile-checking worthy). The CGI work is amateurish, and scenes are so repetitive that even children sitting next to me can guess the next scene. They neither laughed nor got scared (except for the first time when they saw headless Raj Naick ) in the second half. If you can’t get them to do that, think about the adults in the theatre.
The directors should stop underestimating the audience, and the argument that people come inside the theatre just for laughs have been debunked multiple times in the last two years. I wish Kashmora becomes the end-game for the horror-comedy genre in Tamil cinema. It’s time to move on.
I give 1.5/5 for Kashmora and watch if only if you have a lot of time to waste.
PS: Thanks to kids and the young folks who were sitting beside me, you are the best in guessing the scenes of a movie.
Kashtam da – it’s difficult