Right from the initial establishing sequence of director Madhumitha’s K.D, one can feel assured that the makers have an unflinching eye for staging scenes in a very interesting way. We get to see the proceedings of our protagonists’ family through an unbroken shot. The characters are familiarised without the need for backstories. The film displays such fine examples of visual storytelling throughout.
Produced by Vikram Mehra and Siddharth Anand Kumar, K.D tells the story of Karuppu Durai (Mu. Ramasamy), a ailing patriarch who has woken up from coma, only to realize that his children (except his youngest) are plotting to euthanize him. As he runs away from his house, Karuppu befriends a witty orphan kid named Kutti (Naga Vishal) who names him KD. Together, they embark on a journey where KD is set to fulfil his bucket list of wishes.
The initial portions doesn’t linger on melodrama as the writing gives room for some darkly comic flourishes (KD’s son rushes to his father with the will when someone misinforms his father’s death). But the film isn’t cynical either. What follows is an engaging journey where the film takes us through some interesting characters and naturally humourous situations.
The film doesn’t forcefit any quirky characters or situations to generate humour, but instead deploys some slice-of-life moments. Also the writing is really good at world-building. You see that every detail or trail left by the character has larger significance in the story, from the way KD ties a knot to his craving for biriyani, every plot point counts. The scenes do not exist as mere fleeting moments in the film, but leads to a subsequent payoff in the screenplay.
The film is light-hearted, but not lightweight. The concept of man’s innate fear of death is conveyed in many poignant moments. Right from the scene where KD and Kutti decides to travel to the pre-climactic scene (another beautiful example of irony) where KD strikes the last wish off his list, Madhumitha’s writing tackles many existential questions without overstating it or being tonally loud.
Even the minor character arcs are conveyed through extremely fine dialogue (when KD mulls over getting seperated from Kutti, his lady friend advises that even letting go is a sign of true love). The wonderful wit arising from the nativity of the characters is well captured by dialogue writer Sabarivasan Shanmugam.
The performances feel so real and even the minor characters make an impressionable presence in the film. Mu Ramasamy exudes empathy and warmth with his portrayal while Naga Vishal is a revelation with an extraordinary screen presence. Yog Japee deserves special mention for portraying the character of a sleuth with good physical acting
Meyyendiran Kempuraj captures the scenic beauty of landscapes in an unobtrusive way. The warm yellow-tinted daylights and the golden-lit night sequences enhance the mood of the film. One wishes that the music had a bit of restraint at some places. Overall, Madhumitha displays better control over the medium and offers a leisurely paced, bittersweet dramedy
Verdict: K.D is a well-written, poignant and engaging portrayal of life and relationships, try not to miss the beautiful journey between KD and Kutty.