Cast: Karthi, Nayanthara, Sri Divya, Vivekh
'Kaashmora' is a film of multiple flavours: it first begins as a sort of comedy where Kaashmora (Karthi) and his family do black-magic tricks around town to amuse and deceive people of their wealth. Then it undergoes a transition period where even the protagonist cannot decide whether this is a joke or not. And finally, the emergence of a real ghost and the dark side is confirmed when Kaashmora is led into an abandoned castle where he confronts a warlord and self obsessed Raj Nayak, also played by Karthi.
As eluded, Kaashmora (Karthi) is a trickster who runs his own magic show on TV. Stealth and planning are his core strengths: with the help of his family, he goes around deceiving people by first convincing them of the existence of ghosts and spirits, and then performing an elaborate ceremony to rid these out-worldly pests. In the process, his family gains whatever wealth they could get their hands on: a car, a temple setup to farm eggs, money, and so on.
Things get interesting when a couple of new elements are introduced: first is the arrival of a college girl (Sri Divya) who follows Kaashmora around for the purpose of finishing her dissertation. Then comes a local big shot who had murdered a rival of his. He appoints Kaashmora to help him settle his restless mind. In the process, Kaashmora is led to an abandoned castle where a supposedly spooky incident had occurred. Here is when he confronts Raj Nayak - a restless spirit whose head and body function independently. Kaashmora finds an ancient scroll with texts written on them, and with this, the remainder of the plot unfolds through multiple flashbacks to ancient times, when Raj Nayak was a fearless and bloodthirsty warrior. Can Kaashmora solve the riddle of this fearsome spirit and get his family out alive?
Directed by Gokul, the film is an interesting fusion of comedy, fantasy and action. The first half is lively but without much purpose. Kaashmora’s only job seemed to be that of being a trickster and a fraud. The second half brings in much needed reasoning and context to complete the structure. But it comes at the cost of being really slow and slightly derivative. Perhaps both halves could have used a bit of each other’s strengths.
Karthi has been given a big role in the film and he has delivered on multiple fronts: both as the anti-hero and the restless spirit. Karthi has done a lot of hard work and it shows. Vivek as his dad is always providing relief through his comedy. Nayanthara plays the role of Raj Nayak’s lust and she could only just sit and observe for the most part. Sri Divya too is reduced to a cog in the wheel, and is very limited in her overall character development.
On the technical front, Santhosh Narayanan has some really interesting songs that are funky and saxophone heavy. Editing by Sabu Joseph and camerawork by Om Prakash are all crisp and brilliant. Rajeevan’s art direction with minute detailing is simply superb. Produced by S.R. Prabhu and SR Prakash of Dream Warrior Pictures, Kaashmora is a film that is worth a watch!...