The Kannada movie Kavaludaari, which released in 2019, turned out to be a blockbuster hit and the remake rights of this movie were in high demand. BOFTA's G Dhananjayan's Creative Entertainers & Distributors had snapped up the remake rights for both Tamil and Telugu and that they would be directed by Pradeep Krishnamoorthy! The Tamil version, starring Sibiraj, Nassar, Jayaprakash and Nandita Swetha in the lead, has been titled Kabadadhaari and has hit the screens today!
Sakthi (Sibi Sathyaraj) is a vibrant Traffic Police Sub-Inspector, who aspired to become a Crime Branch officer. However, his requests to shift departments, get rejected by his superiors and he begins to take up crime investigations on his own. When the bones of three different people are identified at an excavation site for the Metro Rail, Sakthi gets intrigued and makes it his goal to identify whose bones they are. When the Crime Police do not show much interest in the case, as the bones seem to be those of people buried over 40 years ago, Sakthi takes it upon himself to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Along the way, Sakthi comes into contact with a poor, investigative journalist - Kumar (Jayaprakash), who is also investigating this same case. Sakthi comes to know of the Police officer who originally investigated this case in the past - Officer Ranjan (Nassar), who gave up on the case half-way, after the loss of his family. Ranjan has since turned an alcoholic to drown his pain. As Sakthi delves deeper into the case, he comes across some shocking revelations and identifies the bones to be those of a family that went missing 40 years ago! The case involves the archaeology department and a huge treasure that was unearthed 40 years ago. What exactly happened 40 years back? Can Sakthi piece together the parts of the jigsaw puzzle, in the present? Who in the present, has clues to what happened in the past? Watch Kabadadhaari for all the answers!
Sibi Sathyaraj seems to be choosing a lot of Police roles in recent times and his height and physique, make him a perfect fit for these kind of roles. As Police Officer Sakthi, Sibi has quite a lot of scope to perform and he does it really well. He is coming into his own with each passing movie and it is refreshing to watch. Nandita Swetha has little screen space but pulls off her role with ease. Veteran Nassar is the showstealer in Kabadadhaari! Be it as a drunken resigned cop or a motivated investigator, Nassar essays his role to perfection. Giving Nassar tough competition is another veteran - Jayaprakash! As the journalist Kumar, JP does a very good job, showcasing a lot of nuances in the shifting of his character.
The rest of the cast, including G Dhananjayan, J Satish Kumar, Abhishek Shankar, Ratchasan Yazar, Sai Dheena and Suman Ranganathan, have small but defined roles, which they perform to perfection. Sampath Maitreya, who played an important role in Kavaludaari, has reprised it in the Tamil version too! His expressions convey quite a lot but the lip-sync for the dubbing gives it away in a few places.
It is indeed difficult to remake a super hit movie and match the success of the original, without drawing comparisons. Director Pradeep Krishnamoorthy, who has also played a small role in the movie, has done a very good job of adapting Kavaludaari to suit the Tamil audiences. Some fine tuning in a few places, especially the second half, could have made the movie more taut! John Mahendran and G Dhananjayan have handled the Screenplay adaptation and the dialogues.
The DOP Rasamathi has elevated the story with the visuals and some top-angle shots are good to watch, as is the lighting in the night shots. Simon K King's music adds more life to the on-screen happenings and a couple of tracks are very catchy! Choosing to go with montages for most of the songs, ensures that the screenplay does not lag at any point! Praveen KL's editing is top-notch as usual but a little more trimming of the second half, would definitely be a good plus for this movie. Producer Lalitha Dhananjayan seems to have backed a winning horse and the production values gone into the making, are sure to pay off!
Verdict An engaging plot & a racy screenplay, make Kabadadhaari an entertaining watch!