Kathakali (film)

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Kathakali vishal.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPandiraj
Produced by
Written byPandiraj
Music byHiphop Tamizha
Edited byPradeep E Ragav
Distributed bySri Thenandal Films
Release date
  • 14 January 2016 (2016-01-14)
Running time
125 minutes[1]

Kathakali is a 2016 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film directed by Pandiraj, starring Vishal and Catherine Tresa.[2] Co-produced by both Pandiraj and Vishal, Kathakali released on 14 January 2016. The Telugu dubbed version with the same title was released on 18 March 2016.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] A Hindi dubbed version titled Khel Power Ka was also released in 2017 via Zee Cinema.


Amudhavel (Vishal), after spending six years in the United States, returns to Cuddalore for his marriage to his long-time girlfriend Meenu Kutty (Catherine Tresa). He is forced to invite to his marriage a local don Thamba (Madhusudhan Rao), despite a previous history between them. Thamba was responsible for dragging Amudhavel and his elder brother Gnanavel (Mime Gopi) to jail five years ago on a false charge after Gnanavel, who worked in Thamba's fishing business, decided to leave Thamba and start his own fishing business. Thamba was also responsible for chopping off the leg of Amudhavel and Gnanavel's father Rajarathinam when he had tried to intervene in the fight between Thamba and his sons, confining him to a wheelchair. To escape from Thamba and his gang and not cause any more harm to his family, Amudhavel had emigrated to the US.

While Amudhavel is in Chennai doing wedding shopping with Meenu Kutty, he gets the news that Thamba had been killed the previous day. Unfortunately for Amudhavel, he is soon suspected of murdering Thamba due to their enmity. Thamba's henchmen set Amudhavel's house on fire, forcing Gnanavel and his family to go into hiding. Inspector Saravana Vadivel (Sreejith Ravi), a cruel and merciless police officer, is assigned to bring Thamba's killer to justice. Since Amudhavel is the prime suspect, Vadivel orders him to present himself at Cuddalore the next day and prove his innocence, failing which he will be considered as Thamba's murderer and will be thrown into jail. Amudhavel leaves for Cuddalore at midnight, with policemen heavily guarding the bus and route in which he is travelling to prevent him from escaping.

Amudhavel manages to escape from the police at Puducherry and meets up with Gnanavel and his family. Amudhavel and Gnanavel then leave for Cuddalore to meet Vadivel. They soon find out that Vadivel has no intention of hearing their story and is determined to throw them into prison. They escape from Vadivel and the police. Meenu Kutty is forced to sit in the police station by Vadivel as he hopes that Amudhavel will take the blame for the murder to protect his fiance. While on the run, Amudhavel finds out that Vadivel is behind the death of Thamba. He then overpowers Thamba's brothers-in-law and Vadivel, as well as his teenage son, and holds them hostage to find out the truth. Vadivel had been humiliated in front of his wife by Thamba, because of which he had decided to take revenge on Thamba by sending men to kill him and then framing his death on Amudhavel, since he seemed easy to frame and also because of the history between Thamba and Amudhavel. Amudhavel confronts Vadivel, forcing him to reveal that he was Thamba's murderer. However, both Thamba's brothers-in-law were also involved in the murder as they wanted to usurp Thamba's position. They then fight with Amudhavel, with one of the brothers-in-law killed by his own man by accident. Vadivel is also brutally attacked by Amudhavel. Unfortunately for Vadivel and the other brother-in-law, Thamba's teenage son had overheard their confession regarding the murder, and he kills both his uncle and Vadivel with a metal silencer.

In the end, it is revealed to the audience that though Vadivel and Thamba's in-laws had plotted to kill Thamba, the real murderer of Thamba was Amudhavel. Amudhavel, who was determined to take revenge against Thamba for the atrocities that he committed against him and his family, had stabbed Thamba and escaped before Vadivel's men arrived and further stabbed a dying Thamba to death.



Soundtrack album by
Released24 December 2015
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelV Music
ProducerHiphop Tamizha
Hiphop Tamizha chronology
Aranmanai 2

The film's soundtrack album and background score were composed by Hiphop Tamizha and Papelan Veerasingam.The soundtrack album consists of four tracks and was released on 24 December 2015.

Track listing
1."Azhage"Hiphop Tamizha3:38
2."Kathakali Theme" (Instrumental) 2:37
3."Erangi Vandhu"Hiphop Tamizha, Anthony Daasan3:35
4."Kathakali Whistle" (Instrumental) 1:41
Total length:11:31


The album won positive reviews from both critics and audiences.

  • Behindwoods rated the album 2.5 out of 5.[10]
  • Sify rated the album 3/5 stating "After a roaring ‘Thani Oruvan’, Hiphop Thamizha plays to the gallery of the movie here by sticking to the movie’s demands. A romantic number, a kuthu number & couple of theme music pieces make the album crisp & to the point".[11]


Kathakali was released on 14 January 2016 alongside Rajini Murugan, Gethu and Tharai Thappattai as one of the Pongal releases.[12]The satellite rights of the film were sold to Sun TV.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received positive reviews from critics.Baradwaj Rangan of The Hindu called it a "fairly watchable thriller" where "Two things help. One, the two-hour running time. Two, the focus."[14] M Suganth of The Times of India rated the film 3 out of 5 and stated, "What is refreshing about Kathakali is that it is less an action film and more a mystery", adding, "It is in the final portions that the film slips a bit. Given that Amudhavel is played by Vishal, the character has to be an action hero and so, we see him beating up professional gangsters with hardly any effort, and the film starts to resemble conventional action films."[15] Indiaglitz gave it a 2.8/5 saying that "[It] is a good entertainer that slowly builds into an action packed thriller."[16]


  1. ^ "KATHAKALI (12A) (CUT)". British Board of Film Classification. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Catherine Tresa to pair up with Vishal in the upcoming Pandiraj film". Behindwoods.com. 2015-07-02. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  3. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20160103165748/http://wahrahul.com/kathakali-vishal-pandiraj-catherine-ready-for-pongal-release/. Archived from the original on 3 January 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Catherine Tresa Replaces Keerthi Suresh in Vishal Starrer". Indiacinemanews.com. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  5. ^ "Vishal-Pandiraj film Shooting Date and Other Details Here — Tamil Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  6. ^ "'Kathakali' with Vishal is Pandiraj's Next". The New Indian Express. 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  7. ^ "Will Put you on Edge of Your Seat". The New Indian Express.
  8. ^ Srinivasa Ramanujam. "Interview with Vishal, actor and general secretary of the Nadigar Sangam". The Hindu.
  9. ^ Nikhil Raghavan. "Director Pandiraj on Vishal-starrer Kathakali". The Hindu.
  10. ^ "Kathakali (aka) Kadhakali songs review". Behindwoods.
  11. ^ http://www.sify.com/movies/kathakali-audio-review-news-tamil-pmzkzWibefbjc.html
  12. ^ "First Day Box office collection: Rajini Murugan gets good opening, Tharai Thappattai, Kathakali, Gethu take decent start". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYq3tzwT5XM
  14. ^ "Kathakali: A fairly watchable thriller". The Hindu. 2016-01-15. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  15. ^ "Kathakali Movie Review, Trailer, & Show timings at Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  16. ^ "Kathakali review. Kathakali Tamil movie review, story, rating - IndiaGlitz.com". IndiaGlitz.

External links[edit]