Film: 'Kanthaswamy'; Director: Susi Ganesan; Cast: Vikram, Shriya Saran, Krishna, Raghuvaran, Vivek, Santhanam, Vinod Raj, Y.G. Mahendran, Arun Mathavan, Vinayak, Alex and Indrajith; Music: Devi Sri Prasad; Rating: ***
Director Susi Ganesan's 'Kanthaswamy' is a typical commercial pot-boiler that has style and substance. Though the Robin Hood-like story is not new, Susi has presented it with trademark superhero-movie elements -- flashy action scenes and stunning special effects.
Yet, it's not the typical superhero film and therein lies the twist in the tale.
The movie begins with people flocking to a Murugan temple. All those who submit their woes as petitions to Lord Kanthaswamy (another name for Murugan) on a piece of paper and tie it to a tree in the temple find that their problems are all solved soon.
Meanwhile, superhero Kanthaswamy becomes a phenomenon -- a caped crusader dressed as a rooster who takes up the grievances of ordinary people and resolves them. But the local police officer (Prabhu) suspects something fishy and pokes his nose in the matter.
On the other hand, brave CBI officer Kanthaswamy (Vikram) is on a mission to unearth black money and illegal wealth amassed by the rich and corrupt that lie stashed in foreign banks. He is in for a challenge when he raids the house of tycoon PPP (Ashish Vidyarthi).
When Kanthaswamy finds unaccounted cash and documents of various foreign deals worth over Rs.1,000 crore, PPP, the seasoned criminal, is not amused. At the same time, his only daughter Subbalakshmi (Shriya Saran) pretends to have fallen in love with Kanthaswamy in an effort to take revenge on him.
Watch the film to know the connection between the masked crusader and the CBI officer.
Susi Ganesan has presented the movie with a fast-paced and stylish narrative. He has conceived and executed many scenes well. He has tried to give the old story of robbing the rich to help the poor some logical elements. The twists in the tale are interesting.
The fight sequences, especially the blind-folded action scenes in Mexico, are breathtaking. The innovative camera angles and lighting by cinematographer N.K. Ekambaram make the film visually stunning. Thotta Dharani's art work is also awesome.
On the flip side, Susi's story is disappointing. While he has worked hard to make the film stylish and sleek, one wishes he had worked harder to come up with something new.
We have seen powerful 'Good Samaritans' like Kanthaswamy in films like 'Gentleman' and 'Indian'. We have also seen an 'alien' with extraordinary powers to eliminate the baddies in 'Anniyan' and an intelligent hero diverting the black money to good causes in 'Sivaji'.
The major problem with the script is the length. The director could have avoided a couple of songs and halved the comedy track by Vadivelu.
Devi Sri Prasad's music goes with the movie's mood. Two of the six songs -- 'Excuse me Mr. Kandasamy' and 'Yen Peru Meenakumari' -- are picturised well.
Vikram comes out with flying colours. His dedicated efforts have given an extra-dimension to the character. Very few people in Indian cinema could portray the larger-than-life fantasy character as easily as Vikram. His body language when he appears with a mask and wings is amazing.
Shriya sizzles in her glamorous appearance and charming acting. Prabhu renders a neat performance but he is fast becoming predictable in the role of an investigative cop. The characterization of villains leaves much to be desired. Vadivelu's comedy track passes muster.
'Kanthaswamy' is for those looking for sheer entertainment.