Kali Movie Review (Mal): Not Explosive As It Sounds
Kali explores how the outburst of an angry young man has a debilitating effect on his life and those around him | Anoop S
On Mar 27, 2016


‘Kali’ is Dulquer Salman’s latest offering at the box office after the immensely successful ‘Charlie’, which also bagged him the top acting honours at the recently announced Kerala State Film Awards. Directed by renowned cinematographer Sameer Thahir, who made an impressive debut with ‘Neelaakasham Pachakadal Chuvannabhoomi’, ‘Kali’ has the unnecessary burden of shouldering viewers’ expectation.

Following a long spell of romance, Siddharth (Dulquer Salman) and Anjali (Sai Pallavi) have tied the nuptial knot against the wishes of their respective families. Starting from scratch, they have built for themselves a decent living. Siddharth, who works for a bank, is a perennially angry man. He fumes for the silliest of reasons and finds it difficult to control his rage. ‘Kali’ explores how the outburst of an angry young man has a debilitating effect on his life and those around him.

The first hour of the movie is devoted to illustrate Siddharth’s idiosyncrasies. During this portion, the movie sails along pretty smoothly largely due to the laughs raised intermittently by Prakashan (Soubin Shahir), Siddharth’s colleague. Around the midway point in the movie, Siddharth and Anjali fall out with each other when the latter finds it impossible to tolerate the former’s fury any longer.

They patch up to an extent and head towards Anjali’s house in Masanagudi for a function. Siddharth’s reaction to a road rage incident on their way there sets off a series of events that eventually lands them in a spot of bother. The movie starts getting dramatic at this particular juncture. The proceedings manage to raise the anxiety of the viewer for a brief period of time and there is palpable tension in the air. But, things start getting bumpy soon and fizzle out in the end.

As the title of the movie suggests, the central theme of the movie is anger. With the world progressing at lightning speed, people are becoming more and more impatient by the day. Hence, the theme is sure to strike a chord with many a mind. But, the story that Rajesh Gopinathan has built around the foundation seems contrived.


Sameer Thahir’s realistic treatment of his debut venture stood out. In ‘Kali’, he consciously makes an effort to give the central character a larger than life image. Although this tactic might excite the fans of Dulquer Salman, others are going to find it boring as the masses have grown tired of such antics. Gopi Sundar’s two songs are light on the ears and Gireesh Gangadharan’s shots of the forest ride are good. Despite having a running time of just over two hours, ‘Kali’ seems to be way longer.

Dulquer Salman and Sai Pallavi are okay in their lead roles. Although her Malayalam sounds a bit odd and her dubbing is far from perfect, Sai Pallavi should be appreciated for taking an effort to dub in a language that is alien to her. The notable acts come from Soubin Shahir who seems to be going up a notch or two with every passing movie and from Vinayakan, who is menacing in the anti-hero role he plays.

‘Kali’ seems to have been targeted at the youth, particularly the growing breed of Dulquer Salman fans. Even if one were to shed all sorts of expectations that they have about the movie, ‘Kali’ wouldn’t impress much as the movie doesn’t have enough material. ‘Kali’ isn’t as explosive as it sounds.

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