Many a time comedy has saved a bad movie but in the Kaashmora Tamil movie an overdose of trivial comedy disrupts the movie-going experience for viewers despite the movie’s somewhat strong fundamentals not to mention big budget of 600 mil rupees (RM391 million).
The comedy scenes and dialogue appear out of place especially since the movie starts on a serious note with a scene shot in Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia where Smrithi as Princess Rathna Mahadevi’s reincarnation is faced with a crisis situation when a sacred scroll is stolen.
The comedy scenes which practically cut across the entire movie became so illogical that my thought throughout the more than 2 ½ hour movie was: would someone wipe out that silly smirk off Karthi’s face (as if he alone is amused by it all) in his roles as Kaashmora and Raj Nayak.
The king of witty catch phrases, Vivek who plays Kaashmora’s father is also draggy in his delivery and a pale shadow of his former self here. The rest of the comedians including Jangiri Madhumitha as Kaashmora’s sister and fellow fraudster are also not convincing.
Sri Divya who has given excellent performances in recent movies appeared stifled in the ineffectual character of a college student doing her thesis on fraudster black magic practitioners. An anorexic looking Nayanthara appears ill casted in the role of warrior princess Rathna Mahadevi and her fight scenes against the stocky Raj Nayak are not at all believable.
One wonders what the rationale was behind the mismatched treatment of this movie by director Gokul who gave us hits like the Jiwa starrer action movie Rowthiram and ensemble comedy Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara with Vijay Sethupathi in the lead.
Maybe the movie was fashioned after the recent spate of comedy ghost movies flooding cinemas, following the success of actor/producer Raghava Lawrence’s Muni ghost movie series. But unlike the Muni series which strike a delightful balance between comedy and horror, Gokul and his co-writers John Mahendran and R. Murugesan have failed to draw the thin line when mixing the two genres in Kaashmora.
The only plus point for the movie was good acting by Karthi especially in the role of Raj Nayak and the good technical setting. Karthi’s Kaashmora character sporting a Captain Jack Sparrow style get-up is too much a stereotype role for him. The third role as the king in the flashback scene is too short most of us would fail to see it’s played by Karthi.
Camerawork by Om Prakash is brilliant together with good editing by Sabu Joseph and Rajeevan’s art direction with successful creation of historic scenes to feature Raj Nayak’s exploits and the haunted castle and Kaashmora’s magic making scenes. The music by Santhosh Narayanan is however too funky for Tamil movie goers.
Despite all the letdowns the Deepavali released Kaashmora is doing well at the box office worldwide promising good returns for the producer S.R. Prabhu and S.R. Prakash of Dream Warrior Pictures.
Review by R. Sittamparam.