Considering how badly Karan's movies have been doing at the box office, you don't expect much out of his latest Tamil movie, Kanagavel Kakka, directed by Kavin Bala, director Saran's assistant.
There are a few pleasant surprises in store, though. The film opens with Minister Ayyanarappan (Kotta Sreenivasa Rao) acting the part of a typical politician; out to get what he can out of every situation, especially public functions.
He becomes the target of a sniper -- the hero Kanagaven aka Velu (Karan). But just when Velu takes aim, someone else shoots at the minister. A cop, Karunarakan (Adithya), leaps to save the minister. The assassin is killed, but the police are left with a puzzle: If the assassin (armed with a pistol) is dead, who does the equipment left behind in one of the buildings belong to?
Then enters the heroine with a dance number (one of many unnecessary ones); Sandhya (Haripriya), who regularly prances around the beach and thinks nothing of swindling a cop for money, runs into Velu several times. But it takes a long time for her to discover his real identity.
There's no mystery behind the murders of VIPS and criminals who escape the law -- a la Ramana, Anniyan or Indian -- but what makes the journey interesting is that the police aren't completely incompetent. The reason behind Velu's madness, of course, is revealed in a tearjerker flashback, consisting of his father, an upright judge, his mother, sister and their fate.
Karan -- who morphs into 10 to 15 Velus, courtesy SFX -- has tried to keep his performance toned down with just a moment or two of hero-centric displays. Haripriya, like many Tamil heroines of yore, has nothing to do except sing, dance and simper. Kota Sreenivasa Rao doesn't shriek quite so much, while Sampath is a suave villain. But Adithya, as the keen police officer, walks away with the honours.
Vijay Antony's music sinks without a trace.
Pa Raghavan's peppy dialogues have helped Kavin Bala's efforts at presenting a reasonably-paced adventure, despite the predictable scenes. Some originality would have helped, though.