After an animated explainer on the vantage point theory (every incident has more than one perspective) and the butterfly effect (a small change can have larger, unforeseen consequences), writer-director Chimbudeven moves in for the kill. The Tamil-language Kasada Tabara comprises six stories about betrayal, crime, injustice and corruption. The film is set in south Chennai and features connected characters and events. Each story has a different cinematographer and music composer.
Over the course of the 137-minute narrative, Chimbudeven traverses the gamut of the human experience. Some people change, while others reveal themselves to be wearing masks. Graft in the police and the political class is one of the uniting themes, as is the suggestion that nobody should ever be taken at face value. Birds are among the common elements – they feature in each of the chapters as if to prepare us for Chimbudeven’s flight of imagination.
In the first story, a worker at a pharmaceutical company meets a software engineer. Despite their class differences, romance blooms, encouraged and engineered by the god Krishna, who can be seen only by the worker.
Is the do-gooder worker actually a cheat? That takes us to the next episode, and then the next. The characters include a dreaded gangster, a low-caste police officer who doesn’t want to be a part of staged encounters, a ruthless conman, a working-class woman whose son falls grievously ill, and a driver who is framed in a crime.
Working with a well-chosen ensemble cast that includes Premji Amaren, Regina Cassandra, Harish Kalyan, Sampath, Venkat Prabhu, Sundeep Kishan, Shanthanu Bhagyaraj and Priya Bhavani Shankar, Chimbudeven briskly and smoothly moves from one episode to the next. Sharply written and with a judicious mix of cynicism and sentimentality, Kasada Tabara keeps the twists coming until the end credits.
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