HomeMovie ReviewsKOLAI MOVIE REVIEW: An Investigative Thriller Without a Soul

KOLAI MOVIE REVIEW: An Investigative Thriller Without a Soul

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  • RELEASE DATE: July 21, 2023.
  • LANGUAGE: TAMIL
  • DURATION: 2 Hours 12 minutes.
  • DIRECTOR: Balaji Kumar.
  • GENRE: Investigative Crime Thriller.
  • STAR CAST: Vijay Antony, Ritika Singh, Meenakshi Chaudhary, Raadhika, Siddhartha Shankar, Murli Sharma, Arjun Chidambaram and many more.
  • PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Infiniti Film Ventures, Lotus Pictures
  • MUSIC DIRECTOR: Girish Gopalakrishnan.
  • CINEMATOGRAPHY: Sivakumar Vijayan.
  • EDITOR: RK Selva.
  • PRODUCED BY: Kamal Bohra, Dhananjayan Govind, Pradeep B, Pankaj Bohra.

REVIEW BY SAKTHIPRIYA KS

•POSITIVES:

1: Story.

2: Cinematography.

3: Songs and background scores.

4: The performance of Meenakshi Chaudhary.

5: Editing.

•NEGATIVES:

1: Average Direction.

2: Half-baked screenplay.

3: Unsatisfying climax.

4: Performance of Vijay Antony

5: The movie is lagging at many points.

6: Poor work of CGI

7: Sets made by the art department.

•Detail review and analysis of the film:

The movie Kolai was based on a real-life unsolved murder (the 1923 murder of Dot King). Balaji Kumar directed a crime thriller debut movie named Vidiyum Mun ten years ago and had now come up with a crime thriller movie ‘KOLAI’. The movie started with an introduction of a model and aspiring singer Leila (Meenakshi Chaudhary) had been murdered in her flat. The case is given to Sandhya Mohanraj (Rithika Singh) who gets help from her mentor and former Police investigative officer Vinayak (Vijay Antony) to solve this mysterious case. Vinayak is in the misery of his dying daughter in the hospital and his wife is also separated from him and undergoing personal traumas, so to make his life ease he endorses Sandhya to solve the case. They start enquiring about a few fellas in Leila’s life including her singer boyfriend Sathish(Sidhartha Shanker), a Model photographer Arjun( Arjun Chidambaram), an agent in the modelling industry (Murali Sharma) and a guy who portrays himself as Leila’s assistant named Babloo (Kishore Kumar) were the main suspects of the murder. Vinayak and Sandhya together try to uncover the mystery and who will be the murderer will be the rest of the story.

The story behind the murderer is unconvincing and cliche to me. Even though the movie looked like a Hollywood film, sometimes it had been lagging in many places and not engaging and the VFX of the movie was poor in my perspective. The movie seems soulless to me and doesn’t create a deep impact and consistency to watch the movie. The movie seemed to be lifeless and the sets by the art department seemed to be exceptionally artificial. The Characters were not strongly appealing and connected to the movie in my view and the writer failed to make a good rapport and failed to connect the flick. The director’s thought process is quite appreciative for a particular metaphorical imaginary scene of Vijay Antony hanging from a cliff holding her daughter’s hands delivers a powerful impact on his emotionThe only optimistic outcome in the movie is the good music by Girish Gopalakrishnan.

The screenplay of the film did not have the required elements to attract my viewing experience. The writing went flat and predictable on many points also I was not able to engage myself with the premise of the murder investigation. The writer was trying to bring up some moments but the investigation methods in the film didn’t make any surprise. The twist and turns in the screenplay was having less potency and due to the lack of continuity, the new findings in the investigation was failing to make an impression. There are numerous unexpected occurrences in the plot and most of them didn’t merge well with the ongoing situations. The subplots in the screenplay were supposed to create an impact but the poor writing was making the crucial situations boring. The climax was utterly disappointing because the reason behind the crime and the motive of the killer is something we have seen before. The psychological perspective in the climax felt forced and the thinking of the writer felt unnatural and absurd. The emotional angle between the father and daughter could have been executed in a better way. I didn’t feel any sort of attachment or connection with their relationship and the bonding between the father and daughter looked weak.

•SO WHAT’S HOT:

1:The visionary of the director to bring something new, like a kind of modern cinematic experience.

2:The thriller mode which the director maintained till the climax.

3:The curiosity to know who is the killer.

4:Some of the unique frames.

5:The different kinds of composed background scores.

•SO WHAT DIDN’T WORK OUT:

1:The poor way of writing doesn’t give any influence and the emotions were not having feelings, and the sorrows and pain didn’t draw my attention.

2: Even though the director had a new gen idea but he failed in the execution of the movie.

3: The screenplay failed to create an impact.

4: The reason and the motive of the murderer were not convincing.

5: CGI and visual effects were poor.

•HOW ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE OF ACTORS:

Vijay Antony, Ritika Singh, Meenakshi Chaudhary, Raadhika Sarathkumar, Siddhartha Shankar, Murli Sharma, and Arjun Chidambaram were the main characters of the movie and they had given their best in their portions.

Vijay Antony came up with a grey-headed, old typical look and with as usual body language and voice tone. The police attitude and the way he expressed his dialogue were mediocre. Rithika Singh as a brave investigative officer did her best and John Vijay as her higher officer made natural and good acting. Meenakshi Chaudhary was the soul of this film and had given an authentic natural acting. The look of Meenakshi Chaudhary was gorgeous and her body language had suited her character well. Also, her emotional scenes were good and she managed to maintain impressive realistic acting. The actor who played the villain role did a decent job, the facial expression was nice but he needs to improve his dialogue delivery. Raadhika Sarathkumar has also given a screen appearance three to four times but her presence didn’t make a change or influence.

•HOW WAS THE MUSICAL DEPARTMENT:

Girish Gopalakrishnan is the music director who composed the songs and background score for the film. In the emotional scenes, the background scores were neatly tuned but the tedious way of writing and cliche did not let the background score produce an emotional attachment.  The song ‘Paartha Nyabagam illayo’ beautifully sung by Shreya Ghoshal was pure bliss to hear. The song ‘Neerkumizho’ sung by Girish G and Sid Sriram expressed a deep affinity of a father towards his daughter. Other songs like Kelvi Mattum Thangudhey, Nesam Maruma and Yaar Nee were also satisfactory and all the lyrics penned by Vivek never fail to win the listener’s heart.

•WHAT’S BEHIND THE FILM :

The technical aspect of the film was moderate, the makers had tried to bring out something new but only the cinematography and editing had worked out. The CGI and visual effects in the film were disappointing. The cinematography by Sivakumar Vijayan and editing by RK Selva is the only thing I liked in the technical department. The frames and shots looked vibrant. The camera movements and the close-up frames gave a unique feel and the lighting method implemented in the film was good. The editing of  RK Selva was normal, and the transition of the scene was fine. The CGI in the film was a disaster and the poor visual effects created a bad impression and atmosphere. The work by the art department was ordinary, in some scenes, the made-up set was matching but for crucial scenes, the set work looked unnatural.

•OVERALL:

So overall the film Kolai had given me a bad experience and I didn’t enjoy the film because of the poor script and moderate direction. The performance of Vijay Antony was unconvincing and he followed his usual style of acting. Meenakshi Chaudhary and Rithika Singh did a notable performance but it was not enough to save this sinking ship. Therefore, to conclude I won’t recommend this half-baked investigative thriller, watch it at your own risk.

VERDICT: BELOW-AVERAGE

RATING:2/5

A Review by Sakthipriya. KS

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