Dark knights

malathi rangarajan
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of life and death Kazhugu
of life and death Kazhugu

It's heartening to see young filmmakers daring to steer clear of stereotypes. S. Sathyasiva who makes his bow with Kazhugu (U/A) is the latest in this category. No jigs or crass item numbers in the film, yet commercial elements are intact. In the opening scene, generally a director would have juxtaposed crude dance movements with the hero's suspenseful, angst-filled run on the dark streets. Thankfully, he doesn't succumb to such temptations. Sathyasiva is a director to watch out for.

A morbid subject, you could say. Nevertheless, the story and the scene of action are novel. If Bala's Pithamagan had a protagonist whose job was to dig graves and burn corpses, Kazhugu's hero, ekes out a living, retrieving bodies of those who jump to their death from the hills, to the valleys below!

Forever sporting a spliff on his lips or roaming around in a drunken stupor, Krishna's Saera is different from the roles of a thief he played in his two earlier films, Alibaba and Katradhu Kalavu , though this time too thieving is part of the game.

Saera (Krishna), Shanmugam (Thambi Ramaiah) and Nandu (Karunas) are friends and colleagues — collecting the bodies of men and women who choose the hill station to commit suicide is their job. And understandably it makes them apathetic to death, or so they think. Saera, in particular, considers himself incapable of finer feelings, till he meets Kavitha (Bindu Madhavi). But once the group earns the ire of the scheming Iyya (Jayaprakash) life isn't smooth…

Krishna may plump for roles that show him in a negative light but the large eyes reveal an innocence that makes him appear almost naïve. Probably next time he should grab a positive character. In how many more films do we watch him indulge in burglary and peccadilloes? The energetic actor needs a break. Will Kazhugu do the trick?

After Veppam , it's another serious role for Bindu Madhavi. The tall, svelte heroine scores in the scene where she rushes to the hospital thinking her lover has met with an accident.

Both Thambi Ramaiah and Karunas bolster up the narration whenever it tends to sag. Ramaiah's enactment is particularly commendable. And Jayaprakash's subtlety as a villain, appeals. Dialogue is another interest enhancer — the lingo (corpses are referred to as ‘pieces') sounds authentic. Music (Yuvan Shankar Raja) isn't much to write home about.

Most part of Kazhugu moves in the dark and thus hinders visibility. Yet P. Sathya's cinematography helps increase the suspense element. And artwork (Remiyan) has a naturalness about it.

The gore in the climax is on the lines of a bloody saga such as Paruththiveeran . Taking up the title of a Rajnikanth film raises expectations. But its relevance warrants appreciation.

malathi rangarajan




Cast:Krishna, Bindu Madhavi, Thambi Ramaiah, Jayaprakash, Karunas

Storyline:Three friends, whose profession has to do with handling corpses, their lives, joys and sorrows …

Bottomline:Unique milieu is its USP



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