Kaithi (2019 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lokesh Kanagaraj|
|Produced by||S. R. Prakashbabu|
S. R. Prabhu
|Written by||Lokesh Kanagaraj|
|Music by||Sam C. S.|
|Edited by||Philomin Raj|
|October 25, 2019 (India)|
|Box office||est. ₹111.2 crores|
Kaithi (transl. Prisoner) is a 2019 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film written and directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. The film stars Karthi in the lead role with Narain and Dheena in pivotal roles. It is produced by S. R. Prakashbabu and S. R. Prabhu under the banner Dream Warrior Pictures and co-produced by Tiruppur Vivek under the banner Vivekananda Pictures. The film's soundtrack was composed by Sam C. S.; Philomin Raj handled the editing, while Sathyan Sooryan was the cinematographer and Anbariv duo handled the stunt choreography, which was conceptualised during the script stage. The film released on 25 October 2019, coinciding with Diwali to highly positive critical reviews.
A smuggling van carrying a ton of drugs that belongs to a gangster was acquired by Inspector Bejoy and his team. The gangster sends his men to capture the police inspectors and kill them, take their drugs back from them, and release his brother from jail. According to the gangster's plan, all of the police officers get high and unconscious after consuming poisoned drinks at a higher official's retirement party. Bejoy, who avoided the drinks as he was under medication, escapes from the cruel plan and tries to save the lives of all the unconscious officials without letting the media or anyone else from the outside finding out, so he convinces Dilli, an ex-prisoner who happened to be there with him as he was detained for looking suspicious, to help him save the officers' lives by promising him that he will help Dilli meet his daughter for the first time the next morning. With the help of a truck borrowed from Kamatchi, who is a caterer at the higher official's mansion. Dilli, Bejoy, and Kamatchi together load the unconscious bodies of the officials on the truck and get them to the hospital as soon as possible without letting the gangsters get their bodies. As another group under the same gangster tries to break into the police station where the drugs are hidden, a group of innocent college students along with a constable who are trapped inside the police station take instructions from Bejoy over the phone and try to keep the gangsters outside the police station at the cost of their own lives while they wait for Dilli and Bejoy to arrive at their rescue.
- Karthi as Dilli
- Narain as Inspector Bejoy, Special Task Force
- Dheena as Kamatchi
- George Maryan as Constable Napoleon
- Arjun Das as Anbu
- "Black Sheep" Deepthi as Thamizh
- Ramana as Tips
- Harish Uthaman as Adaikalam
- Hareesh Peradi as Stephen Raj, Narcotics Division
- Malavika Avinash as Nalini, Probation officer at Puzhal Jail
- Amzath Khan as Ram
- Krishnamoorthy as Muthu
- Chetan as Dr. Amudhan
- Vatsan Chakravarthy
- Mahanadi Shankar
- Kanna Ravi as Ajhas Ahmed
The director of the film initially chose an aged actor like Mansur Ali Khan to play the lead role. But as the process of writing went forth the story demanded a star like Karthi and the scale of the film also increased. The film was announced on 12 December 2018, and the principal photography of the film commenced around late December 2018. The film marks the second film for director Lokesh after Maanagaram in 2017. The filmmakers revealed that the film does not have any songs nor a female lead with Karthi who had signed in to play the role of a prisoner which the title of the film itself reveals. The portions of the film were shot around Chennai and in Tirunelveli, and no day sequences took place for this film.
Marketing and release
The first look was released on 8 March 2019. The teaser of the film released on 30 May 2019, with Karthi playing the role of a prisoner in this film. The official trailer was unveiled on 7 October 2019. A huge prison like set was built in Forum Vijaya Mall, Chennai for the promotion of this film.
The film was initially slated to release on 27 September 2019, but the release was pushed to October, and the makers announced that the film will be released on 25 October 2019, coinciding with Diwali.
Kaithi received highly positive reviews from critics who praised Karthi’s performance, Lokesh’s direction and the screenplay. India Today gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Kaithi is a film that showcases filmmaking at its best, and Karthi is terrific and so natural that you could literally picture a prisoner going through a tough time". The Times of India gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Kaithi is a tense, impressively shot action thriller, a pure genre film". News18 gave 3 out of 5 stars stating "Karthi's stunning performance makes it an engaging watch, Kaithi plays at multiple levels". Firstpost gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Karthi is terrific with his eyes, especially in a scene involving his daughter where he breaks down. Kaithi is a well made film that takes the road less travelled and provides enough thrills".
Indian Express gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "The characters in this Karthi starrer are in a constant fight-or-flight mode. Lokesh forces them to choose between pain and pride. Surrender or resist". Sify gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Kaithi is a solid action thriller and it will be a feast for action lovers. The film also has a lovely underlying father-daughter sentiment which works well in the climax! Prepare to be thrilled". Great Andhra gave 3 out of 5 stars stating " ‘Khaidi’ (Telugu title) is a unique action drama that should be appreciated. It will appeal to serious movie lovers". The News Minute gave 4 out of 5 stars stating " A gripping tale of men imprisoned by their circumstances, There is no star in 'Kaithi'. Director Lokesh shows that a hero is anyone who goes beyond thinking about just himself". Movie Freak gave 5 out of 5 stars stating " Kaithi… An engaging Thriller". Moviesgupchup gave 5 out of 5 stars stating "Kaithi ..is an action thriller".
- "Kaithi: Karthi starrer collects Rs 100 crore, the first movie of the actor to do so". Times of India.
- "Kaithi Box Office Collection: Karthi starrer action thriller enters 100 crore club". PinkVilla.
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- "Kaithi first look: Karthi promises an intense action thriller". The Indian Express. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
- "Karthi reacts on Kaithi clash with Vijay's Bigil". The Times of India. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
- "Karthi's 'Kaithi' fills up the list after 'All in All Azhagu Raja' and 'Kaashmora'!". Top10Cinema. 28 August 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
- "Kaithi Movie Review: Karthi is terrific in Lokesh Kanagaraj's gripping action flick". India Today. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Kaithi Movie Review". Times of India. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Kaithi Movie Review". News18. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Kaithi movie review: Karthi's edgy performance is the highlight of Lokesh Kanagaraj's gripping thriller". Firstpost. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Kaithi movie review: Karthi's light and pacy action thriller keeps you engaged". Indian Express. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Kaithi review: Prepare to be thrilled". Sify. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Khaidi Review: Different and Gripping". Great Andhra. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "'Kaithi' review". The News Minute. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Kaithi… An engaging Thriller". Movie Freak @ Medium. 12 November 2019.
- "Kaithi review". Moviesgupchup. 20 November 2019.