After Thozha’s moderate success (more successful in Telugu than in Tamil), Karthi tries once again to ride on two horses at once and simultaneously releases his next movie Kaashmora in both Tamil and Telugu. Having been made with a budget of 55 crores, this is the costliest movie for Karthi, and gets more theaters than the other Deepavali release – Kodi. Coincidentally, in both the movies, the heroes play dual roles. It’s not very easy for a director with just two movies under his belt, one flop and one hit, to make a hero take a leap of faith for a big budget fantasy movie. Director Gokul, whose second movie “Itharkkuthaaney Aasaipattai Balakumara” was a hit, must have given ample confidence to Karthi to invest more than a year of his time in Kaashmora.
Kaashmora (Karthi) is an expert in black magic/voodoo/exorcism etc., or at least that’s what the people are made to believe. He has a very supporting family (Vivek at his elements after a long time, copying a famous godman from Tamilnadu) in this noble endeavor of fooling people. What happens when he has to actually meet real ghosts (13 of them) that are living in a haunted palace for seven centuries, forms the rest of the story.
Director Gokul proves once again that humour is his strength, and some of the jokes are rib-tickling. The first half begins entertainingly and keeps our attention with some interesting development. However, it takes too long to jump into the actual crux of the movie. The scene where Karthi was alone in the palace was a laugh riot. It’s all good till the flashback fantasy portion begins in the second half. It evokes disinterest when it tries to treat itself seriously (and the tacky special effects do not help either – comparing this movie’s special effects with Bahubali would be a crime, may be compare it with Puli) and eventually, the movie loses its steam. Another thing the movie lacks is originality. Except for the detailed way of showing the scammers tricking the people, nothing is new. The movie constantly reminds you of Arundati, Chandramukhi, Mahadeera, Bahubali - which themselves drew inspirations from countless other horror movies. It even takes few references from foreign movies like Sleepy Hollow and Mad Max 3.
Karthi is at his ease in both the roles. He has put in a great deal of hard work for the Rajnayak part. He single-handedly carries the movie in his shoulders. However, lack of depth in the flashback portion doesn’t help. Nayanthara appears in the last 30 minutes or so. She tries hard, even though her character is one dimensional. Sri Divya doesn’t have much scope. Vivek has been going through a rough patch in recent years. Except for Manithan, none of his recent works are memorable. Kaashmora has given him a good break, and audience were enjoying his antics. He could have been used more in the second half as well. Hope he gets better and bigger roles in his upcoming films. Sharath Lohitashwa couldn’t decide whether to act like a villain or a comedian but that might be intentional. Madhusudhan Rao doesn’t fit the Namboothiri role. Madhumitha could seriously become a regular comedienne – that role is vacant after Manorama and Kovai Sarala. Rest of the supporting cast do what is expected out of them.
Santhosh Narayanan, after a string of good music albums, has started delivering ordinary tracks including his other Deepavali release Kodi. None of the songs tug your heartstrings. Like D.Imman, he might also be getting burnt out. He has tried something different in the background music department – like using heavy metal in the historical portion (Mad Max inspiration once again!) or going with mild music, when you might normally be expecting heavy percussions. However, his experiments are mostly bland. Om Prakash fails to capitalize an opportunity to show his camera prowess in a fantasy/horror genre movie. V. J. Sabu Joseph, could have made the pace racier.
Kaashmora’s premise is interesting. Like Arundati, it mixes horror and fantasy. It also tries to be humorous. While the comedy works, it dilutes the horror. The movie might work better in Telugu than in Tamil. Still, it is better than few of the recent horror comedies, and you may enjoy this one.
5/10!Horror, 5, Review, Tamil, Telugu, 2016