Kaakha Kaakha Review
'Kaakha Kaakha' seems to translate into 'An Episode In The Life Of A Police Officer' and please forgive us if this is wrong but it does rather seem to fit the film quite well. Its the story of Anbu, an elite police officer working in a special unit that tackles the worst gangsters that society throws up. It's a bit too succesful and, after one assasination too many, the unit is disbanded but one gangster has slipped through the net. Anbu also meets and falls in love with Maya and the scene is set for a dangerous game of cat and mouse that throws up a fair number of surprises along the way.
'Kaakha Kaakha' is fast, flashy and very, very slick. In many ways, perhaps, it's a little too slick for it's own good. It's seamless shifts from action sequences into an MTV style music video and then back again could do with a little less seamless editing; it's culmilitve effect makes the whole movie look like, well, a music video and there are times when the narrative elements struggle to keep the attention. Being slick is no bad thing when done properly, but here, there's times when the movie deserves a little bit more substantial direction. A bit of respect, perhaps, is what's called for. There's a very tense sequence towards the end, set in a desert which is crying out for some wieghty direction, but the director instread chooses to utilise - wait for it - a sort of bullet-time pastiche that completely undermines the seriousness of the situation.
That aside, this is not a bad movie and will appeal to anyone who likes a bit of Jerry Bruckheimer style action, but with the action obviously reflecting the comparatively low budget; there are times when it plays a sort of cross between 'Dirty Harry' and 'Bad Boys' with both the strengths and the weaknesses of those two movies. It's slightly right wing, Anbu's crack police unit is little more than an urban death squad, but this is, nonetheless, an enjoyable movie. A word also about the ending. It isn't as predictable as you might be expecting it to be considering that the movie is pretty much a by-the-numbers cops and robbers.
The performances in the movie are uniformly very good. Surya as Anbu is espeacially good and brings much weight and gravity to the role and his singing is of similar quality. He has much charisma and is capable of carrying the film. The music here is, as you might expect, accompanied by very flashy, glossy MTV-type images and dance routines. The songs are catchy and well written in that they do accelerate the plot to a large extent. You can, of course, access the songs straight from the menu.
Quite simply stunning. There's some slight print damage at certain points along the way, but nothing too spectacular and, on the whole, this is a a magnificent transfer and one that shows off every aspect of the often spectacular editing and direction. You do get an electronic watermark every ten minutes or so, though which can be something of a distraction if you're not used to it.
Again, the sound is quite stunning. There's a DTS and DD 5.1 soundtracks and with an additional 6.1 mix for those able to take advantage. The 5.1 channels are both superb, offering a full, rich soundscape with plenty of action in the rears. Steering is also quite excellent and the whole room will burst into life for the songs. The DTS option seems to give more life and warmth to the ambient sound effects, but there's really very little to differentiate between them.
There's a whole discs worth of extras here to play with, but the most substantial extra is found on the main disc and consists of a commentary (in English) by director Gautham Menon which is always interesting and, at times, quite funny. He's very frank about restrictions during shooting and explaining the reasons for alternative takes. There's also an alternative ending on disc one which is not as good a the one used.
Disc two contains a fairly substantial Making of Kaakha Kaakha that runs for 25 minutes and is presented full screen. It features much b-roll footage interspersed with the occasional brief interview. Unfortunately, there is no English subtitling so those not fluent in Tamil might struggle to get much information from these. The b-roll and special effects footage can be enjoyed by anone, though.
There's also some Deleted Scenes which are, again, unsubtitled, and run for just under five minutes. They're quite substantial, given the brief running time and are quite interesting. Picture quality is significantly worse than the main feature, with much more print damage and grain on show. They are non-anomorphic, but do feature DD5.1 sound.
There's also six minutes of Theatrical Trailers, which are again non anomorphic and suffer from much print damage but are fast and fun and the 5.1 soundtrack is utilized well, as it is in the three minutes of TV Spots.
You also get a selection of interviews featuring the cast, including Surya, Jothika and also featuring director Menon as well. It's from a made for cable show that features much footage from the film but they are in English and are quite interesting and not quite as fluffy as the usual American made extras that are found on most DVD's. The participants talk about script development and characterization and are informative and interesting.
A selection of photo galleries and publicity posters round off what is a fairly good bonus disc.
Kudos must be awarded to Ayngaran for this double disc set. Many companies would be content to merely plonk the bare bones film in it's market and settle back and wait for the money to arrive. Not so, here. The transfer is excellent and the sound mixes are spectacular. There's a decent amount of extras as well, and the commentary is one of the best out there. The film itself is constantly entertaining, with excellent music, and will bear a few viewings comfortably.
Available from Ayngaran Films
Last updated: 23/06/2018 20:02:15