There is no garden without weeds. While weeds don't allow other plants to grow, they also compete among themselves for basic survival. The title of the movie Kala, which means weed, refers to this fight for survival by an unwanted and an unnamed.
The dense texture of director Rohit VS and Yadhu Pushpakaran's screenplay imagines existence as a fight between men, with every move causing bloodshed and hatred.
If Jallikattu panned the beat within man, Kala is emblematic of mere selfishness and ego of humans. The movie starts off with animated video revolving a man and his dog. And soon we are taken to Shaji Nivas.
Shaji (Tovino) lives a not-so-peaceful but happy life with his wife Vidya (Divya Pillai), a son, his father (Lal) and a pet dog Blackie. Shaji makes a few wrong decisions in life which triggers a strained relationship with his father. One of his wrong decisions takes a toll on him and sets fire for what can be called as a revenge fight with the unnamed one (Sumesh Moor).
“Had your father been like this always,” Vidya asks Shaji but he just looks away. 'Daddy this is grandpa's house and not yours,' when the little one tells his father, Shaji's looks gets intense.
As for Sumesh's character, his fight unleashes the wild side within him -- including the one with the boar. Ultimately, it’s the suffering they both endure that truly defines these characters.
Although the film leaps with minimal dialogues, its skittish cinematography and editing brings texture to the backdrop. It is amazing how a house in the middle of a remote yet picturesque place can make you so tense. A suspense was well maintained right from the beginning though the build-up went over the top at certain scenes in the first half.
Kala is also a film where the technical team probably magnifies - like how we saw in Lijo Jose Pellissery's Jallikattu - what the venture could have been on paper rises beyond that to make it a realistic action venture.
Rohith VS' earlier outings Adventures of Omanakuttan and Iblis had interesting ideas and clever concepts. With Kala, the director seems to go ahead with a much more effective screenplay.
The performances are the soul of the movie. The efforts taken by Tovino Thomas can be seen on screen. He nails it with his attitude and approach to character.
Equal credit should be given to Sumesh Moor, who is simply brilliant. At certain scenes, his laughs and looks symbolically refers to many things including the violence against the weakest of the weak. Lal and Divya Pillai do justice to their roles.
In spite of a few hiccups initially, Kala has enough awesomeness to make it a among amazing Malayalam films.
Having said that, the film is not for the weak-hearted or those looking for some light viewing.
Kala is a captivating theatre experience and a gritty movie.