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Well, would firstly like to clarify that Kaakha Kaakha is a part of a
Tamil prayer and roughly translated it means "to protect". Khakhee on
the other hand refers to the color of the police uniform (which is
Also, the Tamil film industry is rather full of purely commercial ventures , any Rajnikanth or Vijay movie would stand testament to that statement.
Now Kaakha Kaakha is an EXCELLENT movie with a great soundtrack. Certainly very stunning in the final scene, especially love the ending (which is certainly unexpected!). The gore is rather too much at times, but certainly this is a great movie!
To most people, Indian cinema is equated with "Bollywood", the film industry
based in Mumbai that produced predominantly Hindi language cinema. However,
there are 3 distinct movie industries in the country, with the Hindi
industry being the biggest and most commercially successful, and the Tamil
and Telegu film industries generally perceived to offer lower budget and
"artier" fair. One fairly odd phenomenon is that Tamil movies that are
successful are often remade in Hindi, often by the same director these days
but usually with a different cast. Some recent films have even been made in
Tamil and Hindi in parallel, with one film reportedly having the same scenes
shot twice with two different casts :p
Anyway, my exposure to Indian film has mostly been through Hindi cinema, and the two Tamil films I had previously seen (Santoshi Sivan's "The Terrorist" and Mani Ratnam's "A Peck On The Cheek" seemed to confirm the notion that the films were more low-key artistic creations. I picked up another Tamil film, Kaakha Khaaka, thinking that it was the original film from which the 2004 Hindi blockbuster Khakee originated. As it turns out, they are actually two quite different films, though there are more similarities than the name (derived from the Khaki uniforms of the Indian police, I believe). Kaakha Kaakha scotches the notion that Tamil films are all artsy and low budget though, being a full-blown blockbuster with plentiful action and song and dance scenes that would fit quite neatly into any Bollywood affair.
I am pretty sure Khakee was influenced by Kaakha Kaakha, even though the stories are essentially quite different. Both are cops and criminals cat-and-mouse affairs filmed in a modern, "edgy" style with plenty of testosterone and quite a dark tone. The influence of Ram Gopal Varma feels strong in them both, and the influence of Hollywood too it must be admitted.
Kaakha Kaakha starts with a man crashing out of a lakeside house into the water, covered in blood, where he sinks to the bottom and has a musical dream about a beautiful girl. Upon the song's conclusion he regains consciousness and struggles out of the lake, and informs the viewer that despite being full of bullets he has to pull himself together and go rescue that girl. The film then goes into flashback mode to fill in the story of who this man is and how he came to this situation. It's fully 2 hours before we return to this point in time, by which time we understand a lot more and have a lot more motivation to want him to pull himself together.
The man is DCP Anbuselvan and he is a cop. He rose up the ranks of the Madras police force and together with a group of his colleagues became somewhat notorious for his tough methods in bringing down criminals. Why go to all the cost of a court trial when a bullet can bring justice a lot quicker? The girl in his musical daydream is Maya, the woman who managed to get inside his stony heart. Obviously in 2 hours they go into quite a bit more detail than that, but I will leave that for the interested viewer to discover for his or her self ;)
Kaakha Kaakha serves up both a solid love story and a solid crime story, with the former dominating at first but giving way to the latter as time goes by. One of the nice things about the typically long running times of Indian films is that they can develop characters and plots in a lot more detail than the average 100 minute action film could dream of, and in 2.5 hours we get a good development of both these strands in Anbuselvan's life. The ultimate collision of these two threads makes both all the more powerful. There definitely seems to be a move towards darker, grittier and more violent films in India in recent years, and Kaakha Kaakha continues this trend, taking the film to some pretty nasty places. This will undoubtedly upset some viewers, but it's all good with me. If you like your films to be feel-good and life-affirming, you probably don't need to read any more of this review 'cause you should know by now that this isn't a film for you.
Another factor that may turn off some viewers is that the film does seem to condone police violence (well, murder to be blunt) as a means of fighting crime. I was hoping that the film would explore the ethics of this viewpoint, and it seemed in many places that it was about to do so but then it never quite did. I ended up sampling some bits of the director's commentary to see what he had to say on the matter, but it seems that he has no particular disagreement with the idea that killing criminals is a generally good approach to fighting crime. The film does seem like it provides some food for thought on the subject whether the director intended it or not though, as one can't help thinking that things might have gone better all round if the cops had actually arrested some of the people they "economically" dispatched.
Apart from this, the script for the film is generally very good - quite tight and logical, and full of nice bits of dialogue and detail that flesh out the principle characters well. Another benefit of the long length of Indian films is that they often give the villains more depth and development than the average Hollywood or Hong Kong crime film, making them equally important characters. Kaakha Kaakha has a really great main villain, played with great charisma by young actor Jeevan. He's a really *bad* bad buy, but it's hard not to like him because he's so charming, and his lack of moral compass seems to be due to bad upbringing rather than a malevolent nature. More amoral than immoral.
The film features impressive production values for the most part, with very high technical skill. However, the direction is a little self-indulgent. The film features the sort of "edgy" jump-cuts and roving cameras of Ram Gopal Varma's COMPANY, but here they seem to be applied without particular reason in many cases, drawing too much attention to themselves and detracting from what they are meant to be showing rather than enhancing it. Too much style for style's sake, I guess (and I normally *like* that in a film). The camera's excesses are amplified by the soundtrack, which is occasionally great but in too many cases is just too bombastic for the scene it belongs too. A little more subtlety in the visuals and sound could have made the film a lot better. When it works, it works really well though.
For most of it's running time the film is very tight, with no down-spots and confident direction. It engages the attention effortlessly, and I found myself very involved in the storyline. Unfortunately, the film flounders a bit at the end, with a climactic scene that doesn't really fit or offer a neat resolution (not the very last scene, which is good, but the final showdown scene). On the commentary track the director admits that he isn't happy with the scene either, but they ran out of time and money and couldn't shoot the scene he had planned. Well, maybe he will get chance when he helms the Hindi remake :)
Final thoughts - if you like gritty, dark crime films with a well developed love story then Kaakha Kaakha ought to please :) It has a few flaws, but they're easily forgiven considering all the things the film does right - and it's certainly an entertaining ride.
Kaaka Kaaka is a brilliant, intense film about being a policeman in India
Not knowing anything about the film when I went in to see it, I was
its slow, engaging storytelling style. Much of the film's attraction is in
temperament. Anbuselvan's lonesome personality, his respect for Maya
(Jothika) and the extreme aggression of his adversary, Pandya (Jeevan)
placed in the context of today's India with remarkable maturity. The film
without its flaws, but little must be mentioned of them; its importance
fact that its made within the popular Indian film idiom of song and dance.
Whatever it does to take it to a larger audience is done with a
amount of respect for its own characters and the world that it tries to
This one stood out for it's originality. I'm seriously tired of seeing Hindi movies that are a hotch-potch of a whole bunch of Hollywood and Brit movies. Some flaws were inevitable, nonetheless, this movie is a must-see. Surya's portrayal of the clean-cut, conscientious cop (as opposed to the pot-bellied, money-hungry ones that we normally see) was awesome. He's come a long way from his work in Nerukku Ner. I liked the movie so much that I had to own it. I'm not usually into the mindless violence type of movies, somehow I actually felt for each character and therefore can't really bring myself to call it 'mindless' violence. I do not appreciate the excessive melodrama and sentimental scenes that go hand in hand with most Hindi and Tamil movies. I absolutely loved this movie for it's lack of the same. ACP Anbuselvan's reaction to loosing his wife, is not overdone, is heart-wrenching and makes me want to bawl my eyes out. There are certain times when I'm watching a movie when I want to hit the FF button. Plenty of times I've wanted to do that at a cinema hall. Never wanted to do so when watching this movie. I'm really hoping that Ghajini releases soon.
The movie is so realistic about an IPS officer. With the story line of
an IPS officer who does stylish encounter. His passion is IPS and
bachelor without any worries. He falls in love with with a beauty. A
IPS officer who is not at all having any personal life how he is
reacting to his lady of love its beautiful.
The action part was stylish. Scene revolving around IPS officers were really clear, class and energetic. The clash between the IPS officers and the villains has exciting moments. Director made great combo by mixing sensational romance with revenge based action. How Anbuselvan love is affecting him and how his profession is affecting his love is about kakha kakha. Its really beautiful, entertaining and enjoyable film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I wanted to see this film ever since I saw the promos cos I thought it
looked diffrent from the countless other drab similar Tamil movies that
And I was right. Of course, there is quite a bit of violence, but after seeing all those Hollywood action movies, it is quite easy to accept it. The actors are very good. I've seen Soorya only in Nerukku Ner and wasn't very impressed, but I think he does the tough cop-shy guy routine pretty well. Jyothika is as good as always. The villian is ok.
Music is really good. I've always thought of Harris Jayaraj as a poor man's A.R., but this one is a sparkler. Camera's good, so are action sequences (surprisingly get to see a fit hero who can actually swing his legs) and title graphics.
Story goes like this...
Anbu is a conscientous cop in the anti-drugsquad, with 3 of his friends, but due to their excessively violent methods they all get transferred to other units. Then he meets Jyothika who catches his fancy, and he hers. She pursues, and gets him to agree. Then problems arise, as the four are transfered back to the Anti drug squad, and take out a drug lord. His brother swears vengence, and the remaining story is about that.
Hate the ending. Hope they change it. I hate tragedies.
K. Everything said, movie very good. Watch it.
Indian cinema typifies cops of two broad categories: they are either
the honest type or the bad guys. The honest guys always shout at the
top of their voice and fight the system while the bad cops enjoy for
most part but suffer at the end.
This movie at least breaks this usual formula and gives a refreshing view of cops and their lives. The direction takes an inside look at the life of a young ambitious cop who. The music is interesting and the editing is a trend setter as far as Indian cinema goes.
The movie is slow at times and the dilemma which Anbu faces when it comes to Maya is overplayed at times. But I would still give this one 9/10 simply because it has many firsts to its credit.
It has been almost 5 years since the release of this stylish action
flick.I have watched this movie almost 10 times and it a great effort
by Gautham.From my perspective,I feel this movie is virtually flawless.
Surya as ACP Anbuchelvan-no doubt..classy.Jyothika played her role as
Maya very well.The character suits her very well.The character that
caught movie-goers attention was Pandia.Jeevan played the role of
Pandia very well.Brutal and fearsome.Jeevan deservedly received the
Best Villain award in the ITFA 2004.The supporting cast of Daniel
Balaji,Devadharshini and other performed well.
Racy screenplay,perfectly-timed dialogues and brilliant narration by Gautham.The soundtrack by Harris Jeyaraj are all chart-busters while the BGM suits the movie very well.Cinematography by R.D. Rajasekhar is rich.Peter Hein choreographed the stunts well.Anthony's editing is precise.Above all,Kaakha Kaakha is a perfect cop film filled with right doses of action and romance.
Even some Hollywood film cant compete with Kaakha Kaakha...undoubtedly.
A well-made run-of-the-mill movie with a tragic ending. Pluses: The way
story moves - begins with Soorya struggling to live followed by a long
flashback about why he's there. The Music. A disinterested look at the
of policemen. Minuses: The violence and the gore, but I guess they add to
the realistic effects. Still, having people's heads chopped off and sent
boxes and sacks could have been avoided.
No complaints - 7/10
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