"Kudaikkul Mazhai" ... a different attempt.
PARTHIBAN THINKS differently. And he does not for a moment allow you to forget it in Bioscope Film Framers' "Kudaikkul Mazhai," (A) conceived, crafted, (he prefers these expressions to the story, screenplay, direction tag) acted and produced by Parthiban himself.
The theme has a refreshing sensitivity about it. Poignantly delineating the brittleness of the human psyche, Parthiban dwells on the story of an auto driver, shattered by the gimmicks of a television anchor and crew. The group goes around town making the naοve public the butt of their jokes, and cranking it for TV viewers to watch and enjoy. Everything from the title to the treatment reveals Parthiban's urge to be innovative. But does it help sustain the film till the end?
Venkat (Parthiban) finds himself in a spot when suddenly a young, modern, good-looking Madhumita (Madhumita) follows him everywhere, proclaiming her love for him. He knows that she's too big a catch for him and even tells her so, but when she goes on in a romantic vein, he yields to the temptation. And that spells his doom for it has been a charade all along. The shock is too much for the mild mannered Venkat. The affected, cobwebbed mind begins to develop schizophrenic tendencies.
Parthiban throws his heart and soul into the character. He seems to have lost some weight for the role. Venkat's gullible nature which leads him into falling an easy prey to Madhumita's charm, makes you feel sorry for him. If Venkat impresses with his innocence, Krishnan, his look alike, irritates you with his theatrics. The way he often punctuates his dialogue with "Daei ... " sounds like he's mimicking T. Rajendar.
The dialogue is a major sore point. Why does Krishnan have to talk so much? His verbiage with Venkat about women in general and Madhumita in particular is a regressive step that takes you to the dialogue oriented scripts of a bygone era.
It is sheer gumption that has made Parthiban have just a couple of main characters and stick to the narration of the story, without the commercial requisites of the usual fights, duets and comedy tracks. With the storyline being a very serious one and the screenplay not making it easily comprehensible, there is a depressing heaviness and morbidity. The blood-sucking hounds add to the nightmare.
Madhumita, the debutant, resembles Rati Agnihotri, a heroine of the past. But expression wise she does well.
Karthik Raja's re-recording skills are appreciable. Music accentuates the suspense element in many a scene. "Adiyae ... Kiliyae," the song penned by Parthiban, throws much light on his talent with lyrics. The same, however, cannot be said of N. Muthukumar's words for "Enga Poi Solluvaen ... "
Just a single set has been used for most of the scenes. And more than Vijay Murugan's ability in art, it is Parthiban's taste that you see in every corner of the building where Venkat is holed in.
"Kudaikkul ... " is a marked deviation from formula fare. Parthiban the creator has slogged to provide a new menu for the audience. And he has, as far as the theme goes. Only that he could have made it more interesting. The crisp and clear climax makes you sit up. But he makes you wait too long for it.
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