Kalakalappu Movie Review, Rating (2.5/5)

Cast: Shiva, Vimal, Anjali, Oviya, Santhanam...
Direction: Sundar C
Production: Kushboo
Music: Vijay Ebenezer
Rating: 2.5/5

Director Sundar C is known for delivering movies in several genres, but it's obvious from one of his earliest hits Ullathai Allitha, that humour, particularly of the slapstick variety comes easily to him--a fact borne out by his acting credits as well.

Avni Cinemax's Kalakalappu (earlier titled Masala Café), his 25th film as a director, comes with a battalion of well-known names, but whether it actually satisfies the tag of a rollicking comedy is doubtful.

The pity of it is that it actually does have a meaningful storyline under all the slapstick mess: Seenu (Vimal), struggles with his ancestral hotel, Masala Café in Kumbakonam, once a famed enterprise but now a dilapidated wreck, cared for by an old chef and his grand-daughter, Maya (Oviya).

The three are perpetually short of funds. Seenu, deep in debt, battles Anjuvatti Azhagesan (Ilavarasu), when fate throws more bad luck at him in the form of the pretty Madhavi (Anjali), who lands him in even more trouble.

As if that were not enough, his brother Raghu (Shiva), the perpetual wise-cracker, arrives on the scene after a term in jail, and matters seem poised for a crackling comical enterprise.

Raghu does deliver a few one-liners and there are several gags that drag out a few laughs, but unfortunately, that seems to be it.

The story meanders from serious to silly every couple of scenes, as though the director couldn't make up his mind which way to go. A pity as it starts out well enough. In the midst of all this is a parallel track with missing diamonds, after which Vettupuli (Santhanam) arrives suddenly, as Madhavi's groom-to-be.

It's almost as though director Sundar C sat down with several promising gags and simply built his story around them. Which wouldn't have been a bad idea, for he had the cast to pull it off.

Unfortunately, there's no clear direction, and the jokes don't come every moment either, with the result that everything ends in a Crazy Mohan-esque melee that's funny in the beginning, and then rapidly loses steam.

Vimal plays a meek man who can't lie to save his life, while Shiva earns some applause with his trademark deadpan delivery. Neither of the two heroines have much to do, as befitting ladies in any mainstream movie, and in this one, they've gone right back to the skin shows of yore.

Santhanam is his usual funny self, while Ilavarasu and Subbu work with what they have.

Vijay Ebenezer's tunes, though interesting, seem out of place in a movie such as this. U K Senthil's cinematography works well, and the SFX team has had its share of gimmicks too.

Kalakalappu does have its funny moments, but only a few of them work. It doesn't look like Sundar C has capitalised on his cast, or his plot – both of which seem to have had potential.

Review 2

Director Sundar C known for his comic capers has once again tried his hands in another all-out comedy which has Vimal and Shiva in the lead. The director known for his trademark comic screenplay has taken a simple subject and laced it with doses of comedy which works well but only in patches. 

The story takes place in the temple town of Kumbakonam and its about Seenu (Vimal) wanting to run his ancestral hotel successfully and hence being more responsible. On the other hand there is his brother Raghu (Shiva) who after serving a one year jail term arrives in parole.

Seenu is a caring person taking care of Maya (Oviya) and her grandfather. He is bankrupt but in the zeal to turn the almost defunct hotel into a profitable one, he borrows money from Anjuvatti Azhagesan (Ilavarasu). Trouble walks in the shape of Madhavi (Anjali) a sanitation inspector at Kumbakonam walking in to seal the hotel due to the conditions in which it is run. Bankrupt Seenu runs from pillar to post to save his hotel where Raghu steps in to help his brother in the most unusual manner.

Before things could get more serious, Madhavi and Seenu fall in love and on the other hand cupid strikes between Raghu and Maya. There is also another track where a mobile phone is being sought after by one gang while it changes from one person to another. The story moves on without being clear on what the director is wanting to say but making it very obvious that all he wants to bring in are the comic scenes and laced with it is the so called storyline.

In the end when everyone runs from pillar to post to save the ancestral hotel and the gang hell bent on getting back the possession of the mobile, there is utter chaos and confusion which draws this “Kalakalappu” with the tagline “Masala Cafe” to a close. Post interval there is Vettupuli (Santhanam) bringing in more comedy to the table but overall his comedy doesn’t make much difference to a film which has so much comedy scenes in it already.

In terms of acting, Vimal and Shiva haven’t done significantly anything different but the way they have enacted the comedy sequences are watchable. Ilavarasu with his various get-ups scrapes through while Santhanam isn’t at his best in this film.

The ladies have made everyone sit-up and make notice but not in terms of their acting but the oodles of skin show they display on screen. In the quest to be the “HOT” property of Kollywood, both Anjali and Oviya have been very generous in the display of their navel and cleavage. Anjali especially after acting in meaningful roles in films like “Angadi Theru” and “Engeyum Eppothum” has gone to an extent of almost bare it all to gain a recognition as a glamorous heroine amongst the others wanting to make a mark in the industry and this generous skin show is sure to get her more such roles. The girls have left a very thin line between calling this skin show as glamorous than vulgar.

Sundar C’s films ending were never been crisp and so is this one. The climax which should have been for five minutes runs close to twenty minutes thereby not bringing in the punch a film needs to have at the end. Music by Vijay Ebenezer is nothing worthy of mention.

“Kalakalappu” with a running time of 150 minutes is game-on for those who has a liking for mindless comedy but for others, this film wouldn’t be of much interest. The film might end up doing average business at the box-office.

Overall, this “Kalakalappu” needs good amount of popcorn for company.

Kalakalappu Movie Review, Leelai Movie Rating
Reviewed by The Cinema News on May 11, 2012.
Kalakalappu Movie Review, Kalakalappu Movie Rating 
Kalakalappu fails to capitalise on either its cast or plot, and delivers only a few gags.
Rating: 2.5

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