| Murderers in Tamil films are usually driven by motives such as money or love and
find ways of hiding their guilt. But Kalaignan is different in that it
features a psychopathic serial killer. The portions of the movie dealing with
the killer have been handled well but the soundtrack is a big letdown.
Indrajit(Kamalhassan) is a popular pop singer in Bangalore, with young women
being his biggest fans. A serial killer is on the loose, targetting his women fans,
and Indrajit is the one and only suspect. The killer's first target was
Sandhya(Sivaranjini), one of the dancers in Indrajit's troupe. Her sister
Divya(Bindiya) has arrived in Bangalore with the intention of finding and killing
the murderer. Bindiya falls in love with Indrajit but backs off after learning
from the police that he is the main suspect.
The director does a good job of shifting suspicion onto Kamalhassan. Though Kamal's
image works against this, the viewer is witness to a few scenes that point to
Kamal being the killer and these scenes do their job. His hurried exit from the house
of the second victim is
particularly effective. His character is suitably brash and short-tempered and
his past involves some violence and sadness, all signs of a man with psychological
Kamalhassan has had a long history of great soundtracks with Ilaiyaraja. Even
mediocre movies of his like Singaravelan have had some
great songs. But Ilaiyaraja lets him down badly here, a fact that is even more
surprising considering that Kamalhassan plays a pop singer, giving the movie a
strong musical base. The unsuitable lyrics are even worse. The lyrics of both
Jadakku Mudakkaana... and Kokkarakko Kozhi... are huge let-downs
after the bright lights, fancy clothes and modern initial beats. Kalaignan
Kattukaaval... is the other song sung on stage and it too is quite
unremarkable. Only the romantic duets have the mark of Ilaiyaraja. Endhan
Nenjil... is a great song rendered smoothly by Yesudas and Dil Bar
Jaane... features some catchy beats.
Kamal's explanation of his side of events that led to Bindiya's suspecting him makes
sense. From here, the movie progresses more like a regular whodunnit. The identity of
the killer is a good surprise and the motive attributed to him is strong enough to
explain his psychopathic tendencies. But the movie goes on for too
long after the revelation. The long chase is boring and the sight of cars and bikes
flying into the air gets repettitive after a few times. The climax is violent with
the killer's end being particularly painful.
Kamal plays his role with the right amount of seriousness needed to cast suspicion on
himself. His dance steps seem a little slow now. Bindiya, who bears a close resemblance to
Madhuri Dixit, romances nicely and looks scared. Sivaranjini, who usually played a
goody-goody, sweet girl, is effective as the stubborn drug addict. Nasser does not
have much to do as the police inspector while his sidekick constable provides the
movie's few moments of comic relief.