Kaalidas - A cerebral thriller that does a neat job!
Kaalidas is off to a perfect start. Vishal Chandrasekhar with an engrossing title score sets the right tone for an investigative thriller. Few minutes into the film and we have a kid who sees a corpse. He doesn't scream. There is a small jerk and immediately we have the police in the scene. By now, you already are pretty sure that this is that kind of film which is going to be devoid of melodrama and flab. What follows is the hero introduction scene and this is again crisp and well written. At the end of the scene, the character of the hero is quite well established and again this is done without much fuss. And a character which at this point seems like existing solely to serve this introduction scene comes back later and acts as an enabler to the investigation. This is precisely how most of Kaalidas works. Everything is on point.
A series of strikingly similar suicides happen in the city and Kaalidas (Bharath) is assigned this case. While a pattern is definitely out there, he still isn't sure if these are murders. Back home, his relationship with his wife is sort of going from bad to worse. Kaalidas is one of those films that while primarily being an investigative thriller also tries to throw light on the root cause of some of these crimes.
Bharath is very good in the titular character. He plays quite an unconventional mainstream hero in Kaalidas. In fact he even takes a backseat after George (Suresh Menon) makes an entry. The relationship dynamics between these two characters is interesting with the mentor - mentee angle. Suresh Menon is extremely good here. The other actors are just about decent at best. The portions involving Ann Sheetal and Aadhav Kannadasan needed better performances.
The dialogues are good. The film touches upon relevant topics of relationship and morality. The hero isn't always right in the film. When Kaalidas casts aspersion on the character of few women, George retorts by asking from when police turned into moral police. This is that kind of a film that doesn't judge its characters as good or bad. We have a pimp who calls out a guy as male chauvinist for speaking ill about women. I am hoping that this wasn't sarcastic. Comedy that was incorporated through one of the subordinate policeman did not work for me. The climax again is a little tricky. It is a possible scenario but whether it comes across as plausible in the film is a question mark.
An interesting thriller that gets a lot of things right. Refining few things in the crucial third act would have helped the film soar a lot higher.