‘Kutty Story’ movie review: The good and the bad co-exist in this latest anthology. I miss you so much that I missed the job of directing Nalan Kumarasamy. Is there another filmmaker who is so free to create humorous jokes from complex, complex situations, and who can achieve this without taking lightly the middle issues of the film? A man is a rare talent.
For his part in the Kutty Story titled Aadal, Paadal, song and dance are not of the literal variety. It is a metaphor and happens between a man and a woman (wonderfully played by Vijay Sethupathi and Aditi Balan), their years of solidarity have revealed the ‘fun’ in their relationship. This is the word used by Sethupathi’s character to describe his guilt.
Despite the emotional weight of the story, Nalan continues to draw all sorts of jokes on film. There are jokes in a variety of conversations, such as when Aditi’s character responds to her husband, “Un kaiya kaalaa nenachikaren”, with “Adhaan kaal irukke”.
There are jokes in body language, especially Vijay Sethupathi’s: look at him adjusting his shirt as if he was the boyfriend of a well-mannered boy and quietly, asking the woman what she was wearing.
Best of all is the humorous situation from his wife playing mind games for him. Even the choice of the name ‘Kamakshi Sundaram’ is ridiculous. The success of the film is that while it makes you laugh, it makes all these points quiet, sharp about the repeated values in the relationship, how husband and wife react differently to the same problem, and how women are viewed as property. Simply put, our cinema can do with a lot of Nalan.
Like Nalan’s film, some can be said to be dealing with the problems that romantic love gets into. Gautham Menon’s film, Edhirpaara Muththam, is a film that I enjoyed as well, and one that deals with the thin line that sometimes separates plato and romantic relationships.
The word ‘platonic’, in fact, is repeated many times in his film, as well as by Aadhi’s friend (Gautham Menon), Prabhakar (Robo Shankar), who repeatedly says, “Blood theriyum, tonic theriyum, adhenna platonic?”
I enjoyed his presence in the film, even though his jokes are not permanent. Importantly, the presence of such a comedian seems to help create episodes in a way that has captured the conflicting emotions of the filmmaker like Gautham Menon. It reminded me of how helpful a comedian like Vivek was at the Minnale, playing the same role of ‘strengthening’.
There is a small bow paid to the classic Ilaiyaaraja, ‘Valayosai’. Alternatively, there is a couple’s scene on the bus, and Priya (My favorite Amala Paul here) congratulates the song. There is a slight reversal of the visibility of the song, when little Aadhi (Vinoth Kishan) asks Priya to cover her eyes with a dupatta, and then continues to kiss. Circumstances, of course, are different in this film.
Priya and Aadhi are friends in a plato relationship, something Prabhakar jokes about and doesn’t think it could happen. Aadhi, however, sincerely believes this. Without further ado, let me just say that without Priya’s controversy in the end, the film seems to suddenly support Prabhakar’s stance. Both Aadhi and I will continue to disagree with Prabhakar – and the film – on this.
This is the space Gautham grew up with. I saw him catch those little eyes between Aadhi and Priya, small shifts in their body language as they relaxed in each other’s presence after a long stay. Watch the vivid relationship between Aadhi and friends at the dinner table, as they sit around exchanging old stories.
Watch Aadhi enter the game – and almost smell – all the good jokes from her friends. Watch that moment of peace and weakness – the moment that leads to the title of this film – as Priya staggers between accepting her feelings of commitment and letting them slip, due to Aadhi’s lack of love.
This is a film with a real value that lies in how it shows that should Gautham Menon, who has been involved in a particular type of romance over the years, choose to explore the diversity in this space, there is a great deal of self-expression.
Venkat Prabhu’s short film, Logham, has an amazing base for gamers who love each other within the realm of hypocrisy. Spielberg’s Ready Player One comes to mind. There’s an interesting twist in the film, as Venkat explores how the gaming world can create impossible opportunities for many, given the limitations of the real world.
However, this is a film that could have benefited perhaps by a leading actor who was able to pull off a belief and a great attraction. Some of the writing dialogues are boring too. When Adam falls in love, he goes, “I love you di. I miss you di. En di enna tlhokra panra ?!”
It reeks of cliché. The punishment for the woman’s name, Eve, when a man asks her to show him ‘Eve erakkam’ is inspired, but there had to be a lot more in the film.
The events that take place within the video game in this film are also generally disappointing. In the journey they pass, the coins they collect, the treasures they store… all of these things need to be put together for a practical purpose, in line with their real-world goals. Perhaps if the playground had been more imaginative, the switch between the real and the gaming world would have seemed more interesting.
The story also ends when we raise more questions than just giving answers, but that’s the nature of short films, I think. The real problem is that with a film with such a fun yet, deep foundation, the film does not provide a satisfying depth of emotional film or the dynamic thrill of a video game film.
The biggest disappointment of this fame, which threatens to bring down other films as well, is Vijay’s director Avanum Naanum. The film is a deceptive appeal of abortion, and this, in fact, is nothing new in the film.