What comedy of errors can we expect onscreen where three men with distinctly different qualities and status share the same name? Well, that's the basic foundation on which Kaalai is based, giving an alluring lead into the movie. Simbu, the villain and a cop share the same name - Jeeva. All three get linked up in the plot.
The main story begins with a flashback. Seema (Simbu's grandmother) rules the village. Nobody questions her orders; all bow to her superior wisdom. Why does this old woman command such great respect and reverence? When she was barely ten, Seema had killed five illicit liquor brewers in the village to demonstrate her obedience to her father orders. Thus began her recognition as a born leader, accepted and worshipped by the villagers.'Guthka Lakhidi' and 'Vanduttaanda Kaalai' are two outstanding songs in the six energetic numbers.
Commissioner Jeevanatham (Lal), a terrible, crooked, wicked cop comes to Theni. He comes into the village, ostensibly to spot and stop unlawful activities, but misuses his power and position to harm Seema. He begins by insulting Sangeetha (Simbhu's aunty), a member of Seema's family. But the villagers, devotees of Seema, teach Lal a fitting lesson. Lal takes an oath to extract his revenge; in due course, he burns Seema alive. This brutal killing affects Simbu. With a quiet will, he vows to pay the malicious inspector back in his own coin. With this plan, he shifts base to Chennai.
Jeeva (Tharun Sathireyan) is a Chennai rowdy who is behind Brinda (Vedhika), trying to woo her and win her heart, but she is least interested in him. Brinda, aware that her father, Commissioner Jeevanandam is helpless to stop the rowdy's nuisance, approaches Jeeva (Simbu) for help. Though in the beginning, Jeeva does not pay heed to her, eventually he promises to help her. Secretly he has learnt that Brinda is the spiteful Commissioner's loving daughter, so he begins going out of his way to woo and charm her, eventually saving her from the rowdy.
Using Brinda, he destroys the Commissioner, fulfills his wish, extracts his revenge, and emerges victorious!
Simbu's all-round performance is enthralling. His dance steps in 'Kutti Pisaase' are just mind-blowing. Vedhika is a glamour doll who lights up the frames. Nila has appeared in an item number and has done her job well. Lal has also given a fitting performance. Seema's role is refreshing and different. Sangeetha's character, that has so much of scope, has not been properly enlarged upon. She has nevertheless made it very appealing with her realistic and charming performance.
R.D. Rajasekar's camera is the crowning glory of Kaalai. Each scene is like a poem, particularly the rural scenes; the camera has moved with verve and will, maintaining a fine balance between art and mundane values. One song has been shot in Venice. Nila appears in an item number. G.V. Prakash has given fast numbers for Kaalai. 'Guthka Lakhidi' and 'Vanduttaanda Kaalai' are two outstanding songs in the six energetic numbers.