Vishal is again in his Pandiya Nadu space and underplays for the most part, jumping to action only when really required and pushed to a corner. The film itself conveys a Suseenthiran style. Vishal looks comfortable in the romance and comedy scenes too. Mime Gopi does well as Vishal's protective elder brother while Madhusudhan Rao impresses again in a negative role.
The title Kathakali suits the film well and there is a suspense element surrounding who the real villain is. The idea of the actual face being disguised in the Kathakali dance form, goes well with the theme of the film.
Catherine Tresa comes for a small part of the film in some love scenes and a song. Before the interval, the film picks up steam and proceeds in a pacy manner in the 2nd half, without any songs. The majority of the story happens in a single night. This keeps the audience glued to the proceedings without any deviations.
Most of the film happens in night effect and in rains. DoP Balasubramaniem has done a good job with the visuals. Hiphop Adhi's theme tracks are a good experience while seeing the film.
In all, Kathakali has the required merits to emerge successful this Pongal, and put Vishal back in the winning way. With 3 other Pongal films, Kathakali may well emerge as the dark horse. The run time of just over 2 hours is a major plus point.