Monday, June 11, 2007

Karuppusamy Kuthagaikkaarar

Romance is definitely the most used subject in Tamil cinema but Karuppusamy Kuthagaikkaarar proves that it can still be dealt with and presented in a fresh manner. The film's story isn't anything new and revolves around a romance that is opposed by the girl's parents. But by throwing a few other positive, feel-good ideas into the mix, director Moorthy manages to extract an engrossing, entertaining film from the familiar story.

Karuppusamy(Karan) works as a cycle stand contractor during the day and at night, is part of a troupe that does mimicry. Rasathi(Meenakshi), who has lost her mother, sees the same kind of love and affection in Karuppusamy and falls for him. Karuppusamy sees that Rasathi needs him to continue her studies and accepts her romance but Rasathi's father isn't too happy when he finds out.

The romance between Karan and Meenakshi has an underlying sweetness that makes it easy to accept. We've been used to entire romances being built based on the hero and heroine just laying eyes on each other(or sometimes even less!) and so the romance here, which arises out of Meenakshi's yearning for love, is a pleasant surprise. The way Meenakshi sees Karan as a substitute for something she misses in life and the way Karan understands and accepts that are portrayed very well. This solid foundation paves the way for a tender but convincing romance.

KK is probably one of the most well-intentioned romances I remember seeing. Lovers always face a lot of opposition to their romance and have to fight several battles but the fights are usually fought for their love to succeed. The main goal for the lovers is that the two of them live happily ever after. But the couple here has a much loftier goal. Meenakshi wants to continue her education while Karan wants to stand by her side and make sure that she does. So they earn our respect and admiration and it becomes easy for us to root for them.

The movie has a nice script. While the hardcore Madurai dialect is able to make even ordinary dialogs sound humorous, there are a number of clever, throwaway lines that take jabs at topical issues like reservation and the tendency of our heroes to pick up the aruvaal. But the director nnecessarily resorts to a separate comedy track with Vadivelu and that turns out to be a big mistake. Continuing the trend in recent movies, the track equates violence and physical pain with laughter as Vadivelu, a conman, lands himself in a variety of situations that result in him shedding blood. The hits he takes are of the serious, painful variety and not just simple slaps or pratfalls either and do not raise any laughs. The mimicry routines of the group Karan is part of, manage to be funnier. But they overstay their welcome and as they go on and on, end up looking more like a product placement rather than an integral part of the movie.

The tone of the climax doesn't exactly fit in with the tone of the rest of the movie(barring maybe Meenakshi's flashback). But the plot device used to bring it in and the skill with which it is picturized help us overlook that. It is fiery and energetic with the Karuppan Varaan... number in the background and helps close the movie on a real high.

Karan has really slimmed down and that makes it easy for us to accept him as a hero. He is extremely comfortable with the dialect and is able to effectively convey underplayed humor with it. Easily one of his better performances. Meenakshi reminds us of many other actresses in different angles. She is not traditionally beautiful or pretty but her character goes a long way in making us like her. It is a surprisingly good soundtrack from Dhina. Uppu Kallu... is quite melodious though it sounds vaguely familiar. Naalu Gopura... is sung with a lot of enthusiasm by Tippu and Chinnaponnu. Sangam Vaithu... is a nice mix of melodious and fun.


At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi balaji,

have you seen Ninaithale? I think it was, surprisingly, a very nice n sweet movie. Very real characters. Hope to see your review.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger D.E.V said...

"KK" was definetely a pleasanr suprise. Karan was also too good in his role. i wonder why hero offers eluded him be4? it is good that he is choosing good films to act in.

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this review is very good Mr. Balaji. Karupusamy is a fist class film and is well executed. With Karan's and Meenakchi's performances.

Balaji may u also review Kaanal Neer please as ur sarcasm will make it hilarious!

Thank You

Laanak Reen

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lanak Reen..I am impressed that you have named yourself the antithesis of kanaL neeR, but I think you can spare BB the torture of watching that movie :)


At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've always admired a lot of karan's performances...and, i am glad that he's made a strong comeback. though he did have the tendency to go over the top, he was brilliant in movies like nammavar, kannethire thondrinaal and thulli thirindha kaalam...
i am looking fwd to watching this movie.

off track:
ena BB, have u managed to get tickets for Shivaji?! shivaji jorathula irukkengala?!

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, watch out for his 'Thee Nagar' in August

Lol, Laanak Neer - what a torturous film!

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Raju said...

I liked KK too.. but I felt that the flashback involving her mom was unnecessary. Just subtle comparisons between her and Karan w'd have been enuf..

Vadivelu's track, though an obvious insertion, manages to raise a few laughs. Better among the recent movies.

Mythili, 'Ninaithu' is a frame-by-frame remake of Telugu superhit 'Anand' starring Kamalinee.. Was superior to the tamil copy by several notches.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Raju said...

BTW, KK's actual name is K. Kuthagaithaarar.. (as in 'Panguthaarar', 'Vinnappathaarar') Ungalai solli kuthamilla.. In a Sun TV show (Nadithathil Pidithathu), even Karan struggled to pronounce it.. :)

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ninaithale is good. Was refreshingly and surprisingly fresh.

KK - Karan herova pakartukku buddhi edam koduthalum manasu kodukka mattengudhey. ( becoming filmier day by day)

At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

vidhya, enadhu idhu "Indian" dialogue elaam eduthu vidreenge! :-) Oru nalla nadigan-a paakarthuku theater edam koduthaa poraadhu?!

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ram. Agree with you totally from film appreciation view point. But yeh dil hai ki manta nahin.
adhu ennavo karan character artista(read villain/supporting actor) ninna alavukku herova nikka matengararu pa.
For me Karan as a hero romancing heroine is like having a 4 cheese CPK pizza with chinna vengaya sambar:)

At 7:56 PM, Blogger D.E.V said...

Hey Balaji, please review Kannal Neer. love to read ur review on it. u have reviewed so many bad movies, one more to ur list, wont be so bad!

Anyway, ru going to watch "Shivaji" these week? i'm trying to get for Friday, but 2 bad they are not selling any advance tickets in Malaysia. It is only available on day of release. Looks like there is going 2 be war at the ticket counters on that day!

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Shanthi said...

But what do u think abt understanding the language in the movie ? I happened to watch the movie with two pondicherry tamil ppl and i was able to understand a lot as my mom is from madurai... but not sure whether they got the words "landhu" and "aataiya podradhu" etc... i fealt everyone might not have fun hearing it as much as one who understands or atleast heard of them...

At 12:02 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

mythili, no havent seen it yet. will try and c it this week :)

skanda, no doubts as to why hero offers eluded him b4. he wasn't hero material. i always felt he was too bulky and that he overacted. thankfully he corrected both here :)

lanak/skanda, never got a chance to see 'kaanal neer' :)

ram, i felt he was real over-the-top in many of his roles. but with 'kokki' and now 'KK', he seems to be going the right way :)

raju, thanx for the correction. never noticed it :)

my wife saw 'anand' and she said within a few reels of 'ninaithaale' that it was the same film. i didnt see 'anand' and so lemme see if i like 'ninaithaale' :)

vidhya, lol. that was put nicely. my wife used to feel the same way but changed her opinion after watching KK. so maybe u can give it a shot too :)

shanthi, i agree the dialect was a bit different. but not sure if it was difficult enuf to not understand. maybe some individual words were tough to understand but could always understand based on the context and usage i thot :)

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me Karan as a hero romancing heroine is like having a 4 cheese CPK pizza with chinna vengaya sambar:)

--> ROFL!

At 3:20 PM, Blogger J said...

Ferrari mentioned abt your review. So, inaiku paathen. I agree with you. I liked it too :-)

At 6:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ram, if your idea of a "Hero" is Rajnikanth or Vijay, then, yes, it will be difficult to accept Karan as a "hero" :) Remember he plays an "everyday man" type of role here. That is also why leading men in Hollywood are called "leading men" and not "Heroes".


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