Monday, October 15, 2007

Kattradhu Tamil

A must see movie. The reviews are extreme - either it is all praise or all dissing. It is understandable since this movie disturbs the image of the city we all carry in mind. This is not the city of Alai Payuthey or Mozhi.

Prabhakar, the hero is tossed about by the vagaries of life, with society too playing cruel tricks on him. He looses his mind and after his first unplanned murder, starts feeling like God. The blood in his hand makes him feel all powerful. The rational part of him wants to control the killing spree, while the killer in him succeeds everytime. How he comes out of the spell and becomes normal, if only for a brief while, is what the movie is about.

Why the movie revolts and angers people is because the movie takes you into the mind of a sociopath. It details step by step how he turns from a shy, introverted social misfit to a killer. At times you start empathising with the sociopath, as the videographer in the movie does. Probably that reality is what agitates people a lot I guess. Where the director has slipped is when he tries to make it into an us vs them story. The economic inequality and the seething anger of the underbelly is real, but the exaggerated portrayal (Prabhakar's class mate earns Rs. 2 lakhs per month as a software programmer at the age of 24, which is a gross overestimate even in these days of inflated salaries) makes it jarring in an otherwise well crafted movie.

Prabhakar's character reminded me of Raskolnikov, the hero of Dostyoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. Introverted hero living alone in a city that doesn't care for him, his talent and skill not being recognised, the turmoil in his mind between the killer and the normal man - all bear close resemblance to Raskolnikov. If it is not my imagination, this is a good tribute to a great character. Of course, this movie is vastly different from Crime and Punishment but the central characters seem to have a resemblance.

Jeeva has done a great job. His portrayal of vulnerability before and invincibility after turning a killer shows how good an actor he is. The entire cast has done well, so the credit must go to the debutant director Ram. A must see movie.

P.S. Malathi Rangarajan never disappoints. Her screams in the name of review can be read here for fun.


Chakra said...

Just loved the postscript. :))

Anonymous said...

MR is "scream"-ing? I haven't seen the movie so I don't know if there are explanations for her questions, but they are expressed level-ly enough. This one in particular I thought was worth asking: "Why does Yuvan the composer allow Yuvan the singer to croon for him?"

Anonymous said...

Have you and MR reviewed the same movie :-)?

seems interesting and great title.
If it is a "different" film and not made by Kamal or Mani Ratnam, critics get confused.

Anyway let me watch it before I say anything further. But 22 unsolved murders seems like a lot, no?

Chenthil said...

Chakra, what to do. The Hindu and me - inseparable.

Anon 1 - see the movie.

From MR's review "And the incessant deaths get too bloody for comfort." The movie tries to shock the viewer with reality, and succeeds to an extent. You don't expect to be comforted in a movie about a psycopath.

"Prabhakar is fluent in English too. He even prepares a bio data for his room mate who lands a lucrative job. Why the frustration? " MR means that if Prabhakar knows English, why doesn't he too join a call center. Well, the crux is he loves Tamil and wants to work as a Tamil teacher, and learning Tamil doesn't mean that he doesn't know English.

"When in grave danger, she could have sought his help, but strangely she resigns herself to her fate in a procurer’s den."
Again MR expects Prabhakar to bash up the villain and save the girl. But in the movie, Prabhakar is a diffident first year college student and he meets the girl at her uncle's place, along with her mother. MR obviously can't face reality of how a normal human being would react.

"That even if you go on a murderous spree, killing 22 people, you can go scot-free unless you choose to tell the world about it?"
Exactly. He kills at random, with no reason. Police investigation works on motive. What if a person is mentally imbalanced and kills at random? The director does inform you that the police close each case with some other suspect as the accused.

"But once the police want to nab him, he tries to escape! Till that moment, they aren’t even looking for him! "
He doesn't try to escape, if you see the movie. And if the police don't know he is the murderer, how will they look for him?

Anon 2 - there are 22 murders, but the director shows that police close the cases with the most probable suspect.

Anonymous said...

dude --check this out. another blogger who liked the movie:

Anonymous said...

another sensible review


Chenthil said...

Jillu, I read Krish Ashok regularly. Read that review.

TSV - I disagree with Prasad's view. There is too much assumption of intellect "'Kathradhu Thamizh' is the kind of movie I would NOT want most of our teenagers or anyone without original thinking to see."
"If ideas from this movie clicks, the lower class are going think that they're not responsible for their position and it's the system that has kept them there. That's why I don't want an dull uninquiring mind seeing this movie"

Krish Ashok said...

When I walked out of the theatre, the slight lack of coherence in the second half of the movie sort of stayed in my mind, and of course, all the blood and gore.
But after a day, the first half of the movie,which brilliantly captured the darker aspects of Chennai's urban landscape finally sank in.
I would urge everyone to watch it just to get out of the feel-good formula of just about every other movie. I think they should rate it U. Kids get way more violence on their playstations and comp games anyway :)