Recently I saw the Tamil film Kalloori directed by Balaji Sakthivel and produced by Director Shankar's S Pictures. Balaji Sakthivel's last film Kadhal was a runaway success in 2005/06. Based on his last film there are lot of expectations on Kalloori and Balaji has not let you down. Do you know Balaji's first film is Samurai starring Vikram which bombed at the box office.
Kaloori is a story of college students in a small town and the emotions they undergo with friendship and love. All lead characters in the film are played by newcomers except for the female lead, Tamnaa (who has acted in few other movies and also comes in Avitaa masala ad - see how much of information I have collected for you!!).
The hero of the story, Muthu (played by Akhil, a newcomer) an aspiring athlete from a small town. The female lead is Tamanaa . The heroine lands up in the small town due to her personal circumstances to do her graduation after completing her schooling from Bangalore. You can imagine the cultural shock a student would expect moving from a city like Bangalore to a non-descript town in Tamilnadu. Tamnaa comes out wonderfully well as an actor in this film.
Overcoming her initial hesitation to join forces with her classmates she establishes herself as an integral part of the group. Naturally but slowly (literally) she gets attracted to Muthu. The emotions both of them undergo, hesitation in expressing their love to each other thinking that the friendship would be spoiled not only among themselves but of the group of friends as well. The situations conceived by the Director are very natural and close to the real life. Refreshing change from the cliched cinematic love, dream song sequences. All the actors have done a commendable job and the director, Balaji Sakthivel should get the credit for bringing the best out of these bunch of newcomers.
The film also shows how the rural students struggle to come to college inspite of domestic troubles and financial crunch. The film is very emotional and atleast on 2 occasions I could not control myself from crying (though not loudly). The climax is real-life incident which has been finely interwined with the story by the Director.
The film has got mixed reviews varying from a well-made picture to a picture which is very slow. I dont care too much about the slowness of the movie because it makes you identify and relate to each of the characters very well. I liked the film for the way it has been presented - very real with emotions, situations and locations. The locations were very apt and having done my college in a town I often could not stop myself from comparing it to my college days.
A film worth watching!! Well done, Balaji Sakthivel!!