Cast: Karthi, Nayantara, Sri Divya, Vivek, Siddharth Vipin, Jangiri Madhumitha,
Production: S R Prakashbabu S R Prabhu
Music: Santhosh Narayanan
During the promotions of ‘Kaashmora’, hero Karthi and director Gokul exphasized that their film is a fantasy entertainer that has sixty percent comedy and forty percent fantasy. Did they deliver what they promised? Here we take a look.
Like all horror films of late, this one too opens in a far off land (South East Asia) where a small girl dressed in saffron speaks some mumbo jumbo while a digital falcon (it’s so very unreal) flies away with some important ancient texts. Then we are introduced to Kaashmora (Karthi) a fraudulent exorcist who with his father (Vivekh), sister (Jangiri Madhumitha), mom and grandmother dupe the public and run their business as a cottage industry. Enter Yamini (Sri Divya) a researcher of the other world who forces her way into Kaashmora’s house wanting to write a thesis. Kaashmora gets close to a corrupt minister after upstaging his regular tantric and gains his confidence. A man from Andhra promises Kaashmora a lot of money to remove a black magic spell in his palatial house and when he goes there gets into a very dangerous situation. His family too escape with crores of the minister’s money and inexplicably land in the spooky palace and what happens next forms an interesting screenplay that has humor and fantasy mixed well together.
‘Kaashmora’ is another milestone film for Karthi as far as his performance is concerned. He has completely nailed the fraudulent black magician through body language, voice modulation and expressions. Towards the interval block for about twenty minutes Karthi gives a solo comedy spectacle which is so hilarious that it poses a great challenge to front line comedians. He is an absolute scream as the lustful Raj Naik with a barbaric demeanor. If at one moment he is awkwardly swaying taking many women, including lowly maids, at another his eyes light up with lust for blood as he kills gleefully. His duels with Nayanthara both physically and with expressions is an absolute delight to watch. Karthi appears in a surprising third get up which is very well executed by both him and the CG team. No need to complain that Nayanthara’s role is small a she makes all of short time her own and is the perfect foil for Karthi’s Raj Naik. She breathes life into princess Rathna Mahadevi with an arrogant air of confidence and in the gravity defying stunt scenes she is flawless. Sri Divya as Yamini fails to make any impact. Vivekh for the first time as an elderly dad of the hero manages only a few laughs. Jangiri Madhumitha who scored big in Gokul’s ‘Idharku Thaaney…’ is totally wasted. Muruganandham as the bungling AC and the actor who appears as the broker in the palace are quite funny.
Santhosh Narayanan’s songs are pleasant to hear eventhough they lack recall value while his background score gels well in both the realtime and the fantasy portions. Om Prakash’s camera angles and lighting are what makes this film differ from the usual fare in this genre. V. J. Sabhu Joseph has given clean and crispy cuts. Art director Rajeevan is the backbone of ‘Kaashmora’ as his sets in the fantasy portions are done with excellent detailing and so are the live portions that project a sense of surrealism throughout. At a comparatively lower budget the computer graphics are more than fairly well done. The 3D Face Scan technology used for the third getup makes an impression right away. Dialogues are a big plus with some hard hitting lines directed at superstitions touching the target. Another highlight is that the chaste Tamil dialogues are sharp and to the point.
Director Gokul, who gave us the highly entertaining ‘Idharku Thaaney Assaipattai Balakumara’ has helmed this ambitious project and he definitely deserves a pat on the back for pulling off this fantasy show with a coating of humor. It’s a big relief to watch a film that has no forced love angle, the hero is a coward and stays gray till the very end, the hero is rescued by a woman in the climax and no glorification of the villain because he is played by a big hero.
On the downside the film takes too long to take off in the first half. Compared to Gokul’s previous film the comedy is far subdued in this one. The pace is inconsistent and we are not even mentioning logic which one should not expect in ‘Kaashmora’.
Verdict: Watch it for amazing performances from Karthi and Nayanthara and Gokul and team’s commendable attempt in spite of budgetary constraints.