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.


Naren's said... doubt this is one recent movie which has created a strong debate between it's takers and non takers...However i would pin down the reason as to for both taking or not taking this moviei as all about being different...i would definitely bet that this was the movie which raised so many expectation among movie buffs to be a daringly different movie...cortesy could be jeeva's track record with such kinda offbeat movies, or that Vijay tv promo for the movie (esp. the director' take on the movie) and above all the soul stirring music of Yuvan (people literaly & definitely put that song of IR on loop for weeks )...and yep finaly people decided wether that being different kind as acceptable or unacceptable..but in any case a noteworthy film...for whichever cause it may be...

Escape.... Great Escape said...

I liked the interview of the director. With Madan. Madan as usual handled this like those high brow people... you know.. the Bharadwaj Rangan types... If he feels thirsty.. he will get reminded of Guru Dutt (Pyaasa), and if he sees a fountain, he is reminded of Federico Fellini...

Anyway, he really liked it that some of the hidden portions in the movie were also appreciated. The director comes off as someone who uderstands the audience. I would be on the look out for more of his movies.

Howard Roark said...

The public still wants a justification, a reason and an end to the movies. When a movie that goes away from the mainstream masala movie comes once in a while, their fine tuned radars go crazy and they r not able to make any sense out of it!!!!

All said & done, the finish to the movie was something that could have been avoided.


Escape.... Great Escape said...

Yes... the climax was a bit cliched and dramatic... but coming to think of it, that was what was needed. He could not have completed it any other way. Going to jail would have been too tame... to a psychiatrist would have been too high brow... and letting them free would not be justifiable.

I only wish people who review these 'different' movies also remember that not all people ni this world are as intelligent as them :-).

Sudhir said...

lol @ all people not being as intelligent as reviewers. :p
I loved the movie. Was scared to watch it a second time. Am impressionable. Not like I'd go, in Ed's words, 'pumping round after round after round with a carbine gas powered semi-automatic weapon' but well, it affects in varying degrees.
Yuvan's music, in my worthless opinion, was the highlight. And yes, like you said, the gradual transformation from sanity to insanity has been thought out well. And they justified it all with his upbringing, desolation, deaths, etc. Something that you don't find often in Tamil movies.
P.S. I love Selvaraghavan. Screw logic. Screw intelligence. He makes nice psycho movies. :D

The Individualist said...

And yeah, that is me, the person who writes stories in first person, almost all the time.