Kaththi Sandai – Some laughter and then all downhill
The are filmmakers who take up social issues and present it with all seriousness. Seriousness does not mean lack of entertainment. Manikandan's Kaaka Muttai and Aandavan Kattalai stand testimony to this. Brilliantly entertaining films which did not dilute or belittle the message that was being imbibed upon us. We then have filmmakers like Shankar and Murugadoss who take the larger than life road with grandeur and masala tropes being in the forefront with an important social message as the crux. And then comes a film like Kaththi Sandai where Suraj relies on comedy, songs and fight for close to 2 hours and then not being sure on how to end the film packs in a message in the last leg.
A cat and mouse game between the hero and the villains revolving around cash worth 250 crores.
Soori is quite good in the first half of the film despite a 'been there before and done that' feeling. Vishal just sleepwalks in a role that has him do little. The film relies on Soori in the first half and Vadivelu in the second half with Vishal turning all serious in the last 30 minutes. Vadivelu does manage to find some form but this is a largely scratchy innings on a comeback.
Alex Pandian and Sakalala Vallavan are Suraj's last two outings and this much information is enough to send a shudder down your spine before heading to watch Kaththi Sandai. But the film is definitely better than what you expect and infact the first half is pretty decent with a nice little twist.But the problem is that it seems like Suraaj wrote the comedy scenes and the interval twist first and now he has to find a story and a title. Maybe the title 'Kaththi Sandai' was then decided upon. Now it makes things a little easier to find a story and we have a flashback in docudrama style akin to 'Kaththi' but looking terribly manipulative. Finally Vishal gets to sermonize on the evils of our society and we start looking for the exit door.
Kaththi Sandai has a watchable first half with Suraj regaining some form in comedy that he handled quite well in Thalainagaram, Marudhamalai and Padikathavan. But bad habits die hard and it is all back to square one in the second half. The film is a typical 80s masala and does taste stale.