“Kaadhal” (Love) was director balaji Sakthivel’s second venture after the vikram starrer “Samurai”. Kaadhal was special for more than one reason. First it was the film that made director Shankar producer under the S Pictures banner. Second it was the launch pad for its heroine Sandhya and its music director Joshua Sridhar. Third it was the film that set a trend in Tamil movies which were treading in a same path concentrated on urban love stories.

“Kaadhal” was no different from the usual rich girl falling in love with a poor boy story. The difference was however evident in the manner in which the director penned the screenplay based on a real-life incident. The movie in fact not only helped in breaking the monotonous mould of city based love stories but also passed on a clear message to the film makers that the audience always welcome fresh ideas.

“Samurai” though did not turn out to be an ideal launch pad for Balaji Sakthivel, “Kaadhal” made people sit up and take notice. The first half of the movie was refreshing and it reminded many people of their first love which made this film a runaway hit. The second half of the movie though a bit on the slower side was a surprise to the viewers as it did not have a conventional ending instead it was a non-melodramatic ending which brought in lot of accolades to the director.

The other surprise element in the movie was the acting of debutant Sandhya who in the character of Aishwarya exceeded all expectations. It was so natural and spontaneous especially in the initial few scenes where she makes a clear statement that she is not a one-film wonder.

The other notable aspect of the film is the music by debutant Joshua Sridhar who sounds like a mixture of A R Rahman and Harris Jeyaraj also makes his mark in the songs and BGM. Bharath fresh from doing city based subjects looks like did a lot of homework to get into the character of mechanic Murugan and the body language and slang that he uses fits perfectly to the role.

Murugan (Bharath) is a mechanic who along with his assistant Karatandi (Arunkumar) make a living for themselves. The rich girl Aishwarya (Sandhya) bumps into Murugan’s life and moments later an unassuming love develops between the two. When Aishwarya’s engagement is about to be fixed with another person they both elope to Chennai to get married. Stephen (Sukumar) who is Murugan’s friend helps them to get married and when things seem to have settled, Aishwarya’s uncle comes in search of them and promises them that they can lead a happy life in Madurai itself.

On the way back to Madurai the real intention of Aishwarya’s uncle in bringing them back home is known and by that time its too late for the newly wed couple. Murugan is chased out brutally and years later Aishwarya gets to see the same person as a lunatic at a traffic signal in Dindugul. When Aishwarya’s husband comes to know of her love story he takes a bold step and embraces Murugan to have him treated.

The movie begins in Madurai gradually moves at a steady pace to Chennai and later ends in Dindugul which again is a calculated experiment taken by the director. The comedy sequences by debutant Arunkumar in the character of Karatandi and Sukumar in the character of Stephen are so natural and effective. The director in the end titles thanks the contributor of the story who shared the same to him during a train journey.

“Kaadhal” with a host of new comers is a poignant love story.

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