Review: Kalaga Thalaivan

Director Magizh Thirumeni’s ‘Kalaga Thalaivan’ is a gripping action entertainer that is not to be missed for anything in this world!

Film: Kalaga Thalaivan
Director: Magizh Thirumeni
Cast: Udhayanidhi Stalin, Aarav, Nidhi Aggarwal, Kalaiyarasan and others
Cinematographer: K Dhillraj
Music: Srikanth Deva, Arrol Corelli

Rating: 4 stars

Brilliant! That’s precisely how one could describe director Magizh Thirumeni’s impressive action thriller ‘Kalaga Thalaivan’ in a single word.

Every scene of the film is gripping and the story keeps you hooked from start to finish. It is easily the pick of this week and could well end up being the pick of the month. What’s more, it’s well on its way to making it to Cineobserver’s list of top ten films of the year as well.

Magizh, who comes from Gautham Menon’s school, seems to have done his home work well. He comes up with a neat plot based on a topic that hasn’t been touched so far in Tamil cinema – corporate espionage.

‘Kalaga Thalaivan’ is about a team of whistleblowers who are looking to shine the light on the dark dirty secrets of a powerful corporate that has the whole system including the government, dancing to its tunes.

It all starts with a powerful heavy vehicles manufacturer announcing the launch of a heavy vehicle called the Vajhra.

The powerful corporate makes tall claims about its product, which it says is far, far superior to its competitors. What it doesn’t say however is that the vehicle has higher levels of emission than the prescribed limit and therefore was likely to fail the emission test.

While the corporate is silently looking for ways to bend the rules and get the vehicle cleared by the necessary ministries, news breaks out on media channels owned by the corporate’s rivals that the vehicle has an alarmingly high level of emission.

This gets the think tank of the company producing the vehicle to realise that somebody within the organisation is leaking out information.

The owners are in a fix. How do they find out a rat among thousands of employees? They hire Arjun (Aarav), a ruthless hunter who specialises in protecting corporate secrets, to find the whistleblower.

Arjun, a former army commando, is sharp, swift and smart. With his menacing team, he begins to unearth a carefully planted network, thread by thread. Does he get to the mastermind behind the network? ‘Kalaga Thalaivan’ gives you the answers…

Magizh Thirumeni gives us a film that is simply fantastic. The story is a classic hunter versus the hunted kind. It is about a vicious, trained and focussed hunter looking to mercilessly hunt his prey down. What makes the hunt interesting is that the prey is as smart if not smarter than the hunter. How each tries to outsmart the other is what makes the film a gripping watch!

The hunter-prey version is for the common man. The film has much more to offer for the intellectually inclined. Magizh beautifully tries to explain the modus operandi of corporates and the manner in which they seek to control and dominate governments and political parties. He explains why they have to paint a rosy picture of their firm in the stock markets and how, a government factory being sold for a throwaway price to a corporate somewhere in North India, could sound the death knell of hundreds of workers in medium and small scale industries working in the south of the country.

It requires great skill to do this and he does it with absolute ease and elegance.

The way Magizh has defined each of his characters is also something that requires to be highlighted. The hero, Thiru (Udhayanidhi Stalin), is a financial analyst who speaks little and observes a lot. Magizh defines his character through a couple of cute interactions he has with Mythili (Nidhi Aggerwal), a doctor who is fascinated by Magizh’s deductions. Mythili is true to her character as is Thiru to his.

Aarav, who plays the antagonist Arjun, is just perfect. He sports a toned body, has a deep voice that sends shivers down one’s spine and displays a ruthless attitude that is bound to make one wish that they don’t encounter his kind in their lives.

All three Udhayanidhi, Nidhi and Aarav deliver super performances that lift the story to another level altogether.

Magizh Thirumeni also deserves a special mention for keeping it real and simple. You don’t get to see the hero bashing up a 100 villains in this film. The fights are hard-hitting and real.

In fact, there is a dialogue in the film which goes, “You cannot fight more than three people at once. That happens only in films. If you have more than three enemies, run.” Full marks to Magizh for this!!

In short, ‘Kalaga Thalaivan’ is a gripping action entertainer that is also bound to give you a much-needed lesson in economics. Fantastic film. Not to be missed for anything in this world!