Directed by Vadivel, ‘Kallappadam’ is a solid piece of writing, but mired by a skewed view of casting and capturing the screenplay. The problems arise when the director has a novel idea in his head and decides that this intriguing idea will automatically translate well onto the screen, largely owing to the ingenious feeling one might have from such ideas. And the idea is this: four fellows - Vadivel, Sreeram, Gaugin, and K, who aspire to be directors, cinematographers, editors, and music directors respectively, are largely given the boot by investors and the film industry for their first ever venture into writing a script and having it made into a movie. The reason being that the script isn't commercially viable, as it is based upon a folkloric art form that nobody would be interested in watching.
So far so good! The meta-level idea added to this is that just as the four onscreen aspiring technicians are the four off screen ones as well. And what more, the technical crew also desires to chime in as the respective leads, thereby attempting to provide a natural and organic connection to the content on screen. Except that, such experiments rarely tend to work and must be approached with extreme caution!
In the movie, the four leads steal a large load of dough from a producer ( Naren) as a revenge of sorts for mouthing off at Vadivel's earlier pitch to him. Kallappadam also has a number of laugh-out-loud moments, and the introduction of Lakshmi Priya as the retired actress cornered by Kollywood is just gold. The actress also has scored well in a character with negative shades. The movie has also done reasonably well in the technical department, which are actually mounted by the same four lead cast. Pleasing visuals, tipsy sounds, and gutsy direction helps give Kallappadam a much needed backbone. The movie talks about the various issues that happen behind the screen, the plight of assistant directors and a former successful producer, and actors post his hay period. Veteran comedian Senthil appears in an extended cameo. But the problem with the film is its questionable casting. Nevertheless, the film can be watched once for it novel concept.