By Kaushik LM
“Kuttrame Thandanai” is a sea change from “Kaaka Muttai”, director Manikandan’s debut film. This time around, he dishes out an engaging crime drama.
Starring Vidharth, Aishwarya Rajesh, Pooja Devariya, Rahman, Nasser, Guru Somasundram, and Marimuthu among others, the film is very different from his first outing which revolved around a couple of underprivileged children. Manikandan has proved his versatility in picking themes without a doubt. “Kuttrame Thandanai” has already done its rounds in the film festival circuit and opens today in theatres.
The film has a murder as its central plot point and explores how a bunch of characters react to it and how their circumstances are affected by it. Vidharth plays Ravichandran, a working class man with a 'tunnel vision' problem. He gets increasingly desperate to sort this out and looks at the murder as a means to arrange the money needed for the operation.
The film ends on a poignant note, making the audience sympathize with Ravichandran and his plight. Vidharth is generally known for his loud roles in films with rural settings like “Mynaa” and “Veeram” but here, he shows restraint and underplays the character for the most part. It is a solid opportunity for Vidharth, who is also the producer. His trim, smart makeover impresses.
Pooja Devariya makes a mark with her beautiful expressions. Aishwarya Rajesh takes on a bold part with grey shades and though she doesn't get much screen time, the actions of her character dictate the movie's course. Rahman, Nasser, Marimuthu and Guru play their roles with ease and Manikandan extracts good performances from his seasoned cast.
Manikandan has also handled the cinematography while the editing has been carried out by Anucharan. With a short run time of 99 minutes, the director does not waste any time on gimmicks, songs or commercial compromises. The tight screenplay displays a Western sensibility. The film may move slowly at times but it carries a progressive screenplay which will engage the audience. The plot dictates everything here and it would be a step forward for the industry if such films are accepted by the audience.
Ilayaraja’s score for the title credits is an inspired piece of work and the Maestro reminds us once again that he is indeed the master of re-recording.
As Manikandan had pointed out in pre-release interviews, “Kuttrame Thandanai” is for a serious audience which can invest its time and attention on an absorbing crime drama. The film fulfils the promise with its technical finesse and strong performances. Do watch.