Starring Raguman, Prakasraj, Geetha, (introducing) Sruthi, Mohanram, M. N. Rajam, Kathadi Ramamoorthy, Vijayaraghavan and director Ravikumar. K. Balachander also appears in a cameo role
Credits Music : Deva

Story, Production, Screenplay, Direction : K.Balachander

Reviewed By Namma Ooru Velan

INTRO: Kalki is a K. Balachander*s movie and this intro alone should prepare viewers to expect the unexpected. KB*s trademarks are all over the movie, but having grown used to his tirade of surprises, I guessed the ending - and quite correctly too - before the interval! As in all KB*s movies, do not expect to feel good after watching Kalki. It is however guaranteed to give you some thought provoking moments.


SYNOPSIS: Prakash (Prakashraj reprising his Aasai role) abuses his wife, Chellamma (Geetha also repeats her character) relentlessly and unable to tolerate this, the barren Chellamma agrees to a divorce. He then gets married to Karpagam (Renuka) who dutifully delivers him a much-wanted son. In the meantime, Geetha leads a solitary life with a maid, (Fathima Babu, the TV news reader). Into her life comes Sruthi as Kalki, a young girl with practically no purpose in life but who is willing to go into extremes to prove a point. Male model Paranjothi (Raguman) loves Kalki intensely but his feelings are not shared by Kalki. In a turn of events, Kalki commits adultery with Prakash and carries his child! What her motives are and the trials and tribulations of her life are conveyed in the rest of the movie.


EVALUATION: This movie is done in a similar style to KB*s previous movies such as Aval oru Thodarkathai, Manathil Uruthi Vendum, etc - the ultimate in sacrifice. The story focuses on a woman and for the lead character, he introduces yet another *S* actress, Sruthi (after Sujatha, Sripriya, Sarita, & Suhasini). There can be no doubt as to her acting capabilities, but she is as plain as can be (therefore there are no unnecessary distractions!) Prakashraj does his role perfectly and his references to his wives as *pannadeh, pannadeh* are delivered effortlessly. Raguman has very little work to do and for a change gets walloped by his girlfriend! Humour, as in KB*s movies, is subtle but witty. Sruthi refers Geetha as CM (not Chief Minister!) Whilst the maid always says, *yein purushen solvaaru" her much referred to husband is never shown. We are also left guessing on the background of Sruthi - her parents, family and upbringing. The director probably wanted to build an aura of mystery around her and succeeds in this as her background seems rather irrelevant to the movie. I found Paranjothi accepting Kalki in the end hard to swallow. Probably KB thought the ending more acceptable to the masses.


MUSIC: Deva*s music is fair, but an unnecessary hindrance to the flow of the story. Except for the haunting, *Oru kaditham yezhuthigirein,* the rest of the songs should have been done away with.


CONCLUSION: Kalki is definitely worth watching - but should be done with full concentration and minimal interruption. The subject matter is not suitable for minors.