Kavalan is the remake of the Malyalam hit Bodyguard by the same director and was a much awaited film due also to the return of Vijay –Asin pair. However, though the film shows Vijay in a different light sans punch dialogues and political references, the movie makes you squirm in your seats at many places when it gets slow and repetitive. However, Vijay does look endearing in many places, making a genuine effort at acting. Also, the comic scenes with Vadivelu manage to keep the film moving.
Bhoominathan (Vijay) is sent to become the bodyguard of Semmanur Muthuramalingam (Rajkiran) because his parents feel it will calm his violent streak. However, due to a turn of events, he ends up as the bodyguard of the man’s daughter Meera (Asin) who is a student in Vellore.
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The girl at first takes a dislike to having him around and just to fob him off she pretends to fall in love with him, faking it all with calls from a private mobile number so that his attention diverts from keeping the discipline. In this she is helped by her friend Madhu (Mithra Kuriyan) as the two are staying together.
Her ploy backfires as Bhoomi falls in love with the ‘girl’ who calls him. He is genuinely ignorant of the fact that it is none other than Meera, whose safety is his primary duty. Meera is impressed by his sincerity towards his duty despite having fallen in love. She develops a deep love but she doesn’t reveal her identity in her ‘private’ calls to Bhoomi. It so happens that the duo fall for each other but Bhoomi doesn’t know who his lover on the phone is! How the matter comes to light and whether he gets his girl is the story.
The idea of love without knowing the person is not a new idea to Tamil screen. Though the drama over the calls from a private number creates some interest, the redundant nature of the scenes put off the viewer, who feels bored. The climax twist (in the train) is interesting but the final scene (reunion) seems artificial. The ‘diary’ technique is quite old. The death of the other girl just to make the lead characters come together doesn’t impress.
The chemistry between Asin and Vijay falls flat and so does the combo of Vijay-Vadivelu. The talented comedian has become quite predictable.
Vijay has done his part well in a relatively soft role. He scores in romantic scenes and emotes well when he encounters disappointment. That Vijay doesn’t utter any punch dialogue is a great relief.
Asin’s poor characterization mars her efforts to make it impressive. But the girl has shown that she hasn’t missed her vibrancy on screen. Mithra is quite impressive while Raj Kiran and Roja are passable.
Vidyasagar’s music is peppy but he is not able to make any of the songs linger in our mind.
The movie which has the potential to be another Kathalukku Mariyathai but it loses its edge thanks to a loose and redundant script.
What remains in our mind is that Vijay’s brave effort to come out of the beaten path of mindless action movies.