For over an hour you are forced to witness rituals and listen to the rigmarole of a village funeral, albeit with flash cuts to the past of the dead man! Never in a film would you have watched the paraphernalia of death go on and on in such detail. You already feel drained by the crassness of the process, when the next death happens. Oh God, you groan! And then another corpse surfaces! Soon you are dumped with yet another. At this point you just give up. The hopelessly dark and unbearably loud scenario in Madhayaanai Koottam (U) leaves you tired and exasperated.

Director Vikram Sukumaran’s purpose of showcasing the lives of those steeped in dogma may be laudable, but the veracity in the treatment doesn’t justify the effect it has on the viewer. Absolute lack of finer feelings, little respect for the lives of others and loud performances mar the appeal of MYK. Morbidity in excess can backfire. Wonder how composer G.V. Prakashkumar could have allowed his maiden production to be soaked in so much blood! In fact, the U certification for MYK seems a cruel joke on the viewer. The young composer could have at least salvaged the film with some subdued RR. But no, he has handed over the department to Raghunandan and it is din most of the time. And the only hum-worthy number, (‘Konakonda Kaari,’) doesn’t sound too original either!

The son of a second wife is chased by the relatives of his dead dad, Jayakodi Thevar, after a brawl, and it is murder and mayhem all the way. For a while, the cat and mouse game is interesting. Also the performance of Viji as the first wife of Jayakodi Thevar is a saving grace of MYK. It is the work of a seasoned actor! Yet it doesn’t mitigate the terrible impact of her grief-stricken final act, when she spreads the blood of the man killed in the melee, on the floor, and looks at her blood-stained hands in Lady Macbeth style!

Kadhir, the new hero, tries to do his best. But in the story that highlights nothing but gore, he achieves little. Oviya’s gentle overtures offer little relief.

Amidst this pandemonium, the few subtle touches — like hero Kadhir pushing Viji’s hand away in the climax to indicate that he knows about her treachery — could go unnoticed.

Madhayaanai Koottam is a very relevant title. And that’s about it.

Madhayaanai Koottam

Genre: Murder

Director: Vikram Sukumaran

Cast: Kadhir, Oviya, Viji

Storyline: The son of a man with two wives has to fight social stigma and treachery at the hands of some of his own people.

Bottomline: Bloody without respite