In the list of mystery crime thrillers from a cop’s perspective, Bharath’s Kaalidas, produced by Mani Dinakaran, MS Sivanesan, and V Bhargavi, is a film that remains true to its genre from the beginning. Debutant director Sri Senthil has developed an interesting story that arouses curiosity and has garnished it with detailing on multiple characters, which is delivered with a slight fast-paced screenplay.
The film starts with the death of a woman, who falls down from the roof and the cop assigned the case, Kaalidas (played by Bharath) and his tireless efforts to unveil the truths about these mysterious deaths constitutes the story. The casting of Bharath feels right as the cop is no exceptional man with a magical ‘instinct’ like seen in most cop based crime thrillers, but a regular man who is sincerely trying to uncover a mystery.
Bharath does justice to the role, but the director who has given quite distinct characteristics to a lot of the personalities in the film could have added a few to the protagonist too. The character did not feel blunt, but the instances to help connect with the character better were less. The soon-to-retire assistant commissioner’s character that adds a lot to the film is well-cast and performed rightly by Suresh Chandra Menon. Actors Aadhav Kannadasan and Ann Sheetal deliver a good performance for the very important characters given to them.
The music is on the heavier side of this thriller. ‘Kaalidas’ definitely packs a punch in its soundtrack (by Vishal Chandrasekhar). The background music is surely interesting, but it is so distinct that it grabs your focus away from a scene sometimes. The songs gel well with the scenes and give you the much-needed break from the twisted and tense story. Andrea’s ‘Santiago’ in the end makes you tap your toes despite having to bite your nails just a few minutes before.
The visuals are a standard to this genre in most scenes, but the curiosity and tension are skillfully well-built by the POV shots, be it behind the grills from rooms, through the holes of a wall or from an auto. Few of the aerial shots seemed unnecessary, but it does add some spice to the cinematography. Almost all the scenes in the film contribute to a bigger picture of the slightly complex story.
A good thriller needs a number of scenes in which tension, a sense of fear and curiosity build-up and Kaalidas has plenty of it (Bhuvan Srinivasan’s editing needs special mention). In fact, after a point, the one audience tends to go numb for those effects that are continuously fed throughout. The continuous use of that build-up does reduce the overall curiosity and the thrill of the chase after a point.
Overall, if you like a good crime-thriller with a slightly derivative, yet a mildly surprising twist, Kaalidas promises a good plot. The gripping and tense screenplay of this partial crowd-pleaser might just keep you guessing for most of the time.