What would you do if a stranger came into your land and wreaked havoc? How far would you go to seek vengeance? Kala is an experience. And here’s our take on the movie and why this thriller should be on your next watch list.
Shaji lives with his father, wife, son, and his dog Blackie on a picturesque but relatively isolated plot of land. He seems to have made a failed venture in Attapadi and his father, who does not seem to have thought much of him in the first place, looks like he is getting increasingly frustrated with Shaji’s failures. While Shaji is away, he seems to have taken out this frustration on Shaji’s wife, who wants to take a break from the household and go stay with her family for a few days. We also get to know that Shaji is in a fix and that he has debts to repay; a man whom life seems to have pushed to the edge.
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It is against this backdrop that a few workers are hired to harvest the betel nut trees on their plot of land. You notice that there’s something amiss with that day right from the get-go. And well, shit gets real.
The tension in the movie is palpable, with the editing cuts and sound playing a huge part in building up anxiety. The two other things that we absolutely loved about the movie are the fight scenes – they are so realistic that you start feeling tired for the characters – and the shots of nature. There’s some clever editing involved and one can find many visual analogies and mirroring that hint at deeper meanings (not getting into the details as they might be spoilers).
The movie’s backbone is its stunning visuals and a background score that will get your heart thumping. With a few dialogues, Kala speaks through deep-rooted emotions, a man’s emotion. There’s more to a person than what meets the eye, and that my friend, will strike a chord when you watch the movie. This movie brings out the dark side that engulfs within us, and yes, it is the ‘animal’ within us.
And this gets us to what the deeper meaning of this movie might be. Well, to be honest, we feel there are many and the director Rohit VS intended to keep it that way. Tovino in one of his interviews talks about “anyone could be the ‘kala’” when asked who the ‘kala’ (unwanted) was in the movie. Could it be any more true?! It could be Shaji who is seen as useless by his father. It could be the whole of Shaji’s family who seems to have confiscated the land a few generations earlier. It could be the whole of humanity that seems to stand out against the backdrop of nature.
While the movie is visually appealing, there are a few CGI elements that we felt could’ve been avoided. We also felt that the runtime could’ve been a tad bit shorter and a few character arcs remain unexplored (something the director seems to have done intentionally).
But all in all, we feel Kala is a movie that will stay with you after you leave the theatre. And yes, it is one that is worth watching at the theatre (but not one you can watch with your children though because the movie has an “A” rating) for the sound and visuals will play a huge part in creating a better experience for you.