Murali Karthick's directorial debut Kalavu released on the streaming platform Zee5 last week. It means you won't find it on Book My Show. It means the film bypassed the theatres and landed on your digital screens. It means original content will find a home one way or the other. This, however, doesn't mean that everything out there on the millennial-friendly sites is precious. There's far too much filth, but Kalavu is an endearing thriller that'll calm your nerves by the time you reach the end credits.
The movie starts off with Ramesh (Gautham Harikrishnan) throwing up in a B-grade restroom. As he walks out of the door and enters another one, you realise that he's in a single-screen theatre along with his drinking buddies (Kalaiyarasan as Sujith and Vatsan Chakravarthy as Stephen). The movie they're watching is totally unimportant, for the inner lives of the three men are being discussed. Since Kalaiyarasan is the most well-known face amongst these people, Murali puts him in the center.
Just a few minutes later, the director takes you to a couple that's exchanging stolen kisses in a moving car. And, as the woman (Abirami Iyer as Shruthi) and the theatre appeared in the same frame, I sensed that the plot would thicken. Even then, I wasn't ready for the googly that was thrown at me. The old man who looks after the theatre (played by Chinni Jayanth) tells the passersby that he saw three men on a bike attack Shruthi to snatch her jewellery. As we've only heard Shruthi's shrieks, and, not actually witnessed the assault, it's difficult for us to take the old man's words at face value. Nevertheless, Kalavu picks up the pace and makes you forget Ramesh's shenanigans soon after the title card flares up. Yes, it pops up only after setting up the premise.