Sunday, October 28, 2007

Movie Review - Katradhu Thamizh

Surprisingly after almost a year of downright idiotic movies (barring PV), Thamizh cinema came up with two above average movies in quick sucession. One was of course Satham Podadhey, and the other is Katradhu Thamizh. I liked this movie.

This movie could be reviewed in any number of ways. Apart from the straight-forward, though slightly illogical story of the creation of a mass murderer, the sub-text of the movie is pretty interesting. Jeeva in one of his emotional outbursts says... there are only two kinds of people in Chennai. There are these people inside Spencer plaza, and the ones outside Spencer plaza. That jealousy is the root cause of his anger. This is compounded by the fact that his love is not able to be fulfilled and he is driven to the extremity because of a pedestrian encounter with the police.

The sensitive person that he is, he feels normal life is no longer possible, and commits his first murder in a fit of anger. He is not able to reason properly anymore, but only feels a strange power... the power of God in him, because he had actually terminated someone's life. He calls himself Sivan... because he has the power to destroy life. Lunacy clouds reason and his literary intellect overtakes rational thought. He starts reasoning his actions through broad hyperboles, and poetic extracts. You cannot blame him. He is just a product of a self misguided up-bringing.

Karuna's plays the part of the audience and voices our thoughts exactly... at exactly the rigth moment... during some of the monologue sequences. This lends us a comforting feeling that the director is making bridges to not let the audience feel left out. He is saying... just hang on... I know you do not understand. You hang on to the movie... enjoying the excellent music by UV Raja and the engrossing screenplay... and it ultimately affects you the way the director wanted it to.

The screenplay covers the stages in Jeeva's life in a very engrossing manner. His childhoood, the gory deaths, that warped his childhood innocence. His puberty spent without companionship, and his formative years spent in isolation and withuout guidance. Most of his life changing decisions just based on just a gut feeling that that was what his mentors might have adviced him to do. Every important phase in his life is puncuated with a death of someone important to him, and hence is lead astray in ever so many small degrees... which spin out of control over the next few years to make him... in his own words... 'Sivan'.

The director and script writer, Ram, has done a commendable job, and Jeeva plays a wonderful Prabha. He could have toned down a bit on his shock when he meets his college friends... and when he knows about their compensations. The rest of the cast barring the school headmaster, are just about mediocre.

Finally, I see that most of the reviews on the web about the movie attack the 'intelligence' and the lack of 'logic'. The same thing happened with Pudhupettai. The reviewers had found fault with the 'whys' of the crime as told from the killers POV. That is not the point at all. The director at no point of time is trying to justify the hero's actions. He is just narrating a story. If that sinks in, Katradhu Thamizh can be appreciated in a much more mature manner.