If you were told that Karuppan, Director R Panneerselvam's latest starring Vijay Sethupathi and Tanya of Brindavanam fame, is a film made in the 1970s, you probably wouldn't bat an eyelid. That is how recycled the storyline is.
Set in a village, the movie revolves around the life of Jallikattu enthusiast Karuppan played by Vijay. In one bullfighting contest, he meets Maayi (Pasupathy) who promises to let him marry his sister if he manage to tame his bull. What happens next is more predictable than Rajini not dying after taking bullets to the chest in Kabali.
But the scene itself is impressive, as the hero and the bull engage in a staring contest and a battle of wits. In fact, at one point you are not sure if you are rooting for Karuppan or the bull. The graphic animal is just that good. The cinematographer Shakthi can perhaps take credit for the best scene of the film. But in order to win the heroine (like you would win a trophy on sports day), the hero had to come out victorious.
Soon, Maayi's sister Anbu (Tanya) is married off to Karuppan. But not before we are offered hurried explanations of why she was being treated like an object, and how she suddenly fell in love with the protagonist. Watching this play out is an extremely annoyed Kathir (Bobby Simha) who is in love with Anbu and decides he will do anything to 'attain her'.
What follows is a plot line that progresses at an excruciatingly slow pace with three songs in the first half to highlight how much in love Karuppan and Anbu are (Just in case you didn’t get the message after the second song). Meanwhile, Kathir plants seeds of trouble, and soon the clash of male egos turns violent.
There just doesn’t seem to have been enough effort spent on fleshing out the story of this family drama. But kudos to the team for giving the heroine a strong character, and Tanya does justice to the role. Vijay Sethupathi shines in the action scenes, which have all been choreographed to display brute strength, but manage to accommodate the actor's quirks. However, for the versatile actor to have chosen such a done-to-death story is a complete letdown.
D Imman's music fails to impress, and is often more of a distraction than an addition to the storyline. And the climax, well, the entire theatre knew what it would it be, at least 20 minutes before we got there.