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Kathanayagan film review: Where the fun doesn’t shine

Vishnu Vishal and Catherine Tresa.  

The introduction of Thambi Durai (Vishnu Vishal) defies something Tamil audiences have taken for granted for years. The protagonist is running towards the camera as someone is chasing him – it is an opening sequence that has been featured in at least 1, 423 Tamil films till date (I’m joking about the number, of course) – but its treatment in Kathanayagan is different. Thambi Durai is being chased by a dog. He’s terrified and runs to his parents.

In short, Kathanayagan is a nod to the most unlikeliest of ‘heroes’. One who cannot handle a fight. One who refuses to go anywhere near a snake. The title might as well been Bayandhangoli...

But then, the film is hardly about shaping that. It dives straight into a comedy track between Thambi Durai and Anna Durai (Soori) who are both in hot pursuit of Kanmani (Catherine Tresa). The former is in love with her and tries to woo her with a catchy song that goes ‘On Nenappu Baby, Onna Pakurathey En Hobby.’

Kathanayagan
  • Director: Tha. Muruganantham
  • Cast: Vishnu Vishal, Catherine Tresa, Soori
  • Storyline: A timid youngster has to overcome his fears to succeed in love

The love succeeds without any drama, but the girl’s father (who, interestingly, is the only one who’s delivering punch dialogues in the film) has a condition: the bride has to be a brave guy. It’s left to Thambi Durai to prove that he is one.

And for that, director Muruganantham has to introduce two gangs with supposedly-terrifying gangsters. I laughed out aloud when Anandaraj (who plays a rich bhai in search of a kidney) is introduced – some of the sequences involving him work. But the director’s penchant in trying to introduce many characters (Vijay Sethupathi plays a cameo as a doctor and is hardly effective) and many shades. There’s effort in making them quirky - ‘Mottai’ Rajendran playing a singer and a dreaded bald don who just won’t talk – but in a film that just seems to want to pack everything, they mostly fall flat.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 6:15:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/kathanayagan-film-review-where-the-fun-doesnt-shine/article19643786.ece

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