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Kutram 23 - review

Of late, tamil cinema has taken to scripts like never before. With newcomers there is always a relish of fresh thoughts and being uncorrupted by Box office constraints, they almost always stick to their originality. It doesn’t always reflect in their successive attempts, having been spoiled by success. But not in the case of Arivazhagan, the director of Kutram 23 movie. He struck gold with his maiden venture “Eeram” which was probably the premier movie that set the trend for horror genre’s haunt at the box office. He followed it up with “Vallinam” a sports themed movie and that too on basketball rivalling cricket, a first for tamil cinema and unlike the previous movies in that genre, this one did stood apart for its simplistic story line. The third one “Aarathu sinam” was a Malayalam remake of the movie “Memories”, which was based on a psycho serial killer. Having made three back to back movies solely backed by strong scripts, there was almost a sense of expectation on his latest movie, which again is based on a story by crime fiction king of writers Rajesh Kumar. Needless to say, he has lived up to the expectation.

The movie is based on a series of suicides which start with a murder and a missing person. One quick drawback being, how easily the hero, investigating police officer, makes the logical(??) leap of faith in linking the murder to the missing person who eventually turns up dead/killed. The reason for the suicides and the straight forward police work sets the pulse for an interesting climax, which somewhat comes out as unimpressive. Probably genres as well grow strength to strength based on the success of previous movies. I guess, had “Dhuruvangal pathinaru”, another cop-investigation thriller, failed, would this movie still have been seen with a positive mindset begs a question. Nevertheless, the strength of Kutram 23, lies in its novelty of the crime – genetically selected super babies via artificial insemination. Had it been an Hollywood movie, there might’ve been more stress on the babies and how selecting superior genes proves to be terrifying in the end. But may not have found any takers in Kollywood. The premise has been diluted with packed melodrama and mother sentiment milked dry in the limited screen time possible. Abhinaya, the real life physically challenged yet gorgeous looking girl, plays a role she wouldn’t have touched with a pole had she been blessed with normal physical abilities. She plays Anni to Arun Vijay(hero) who would probably be a decade and half older to her. Shame on our movie industry for not making full use of her immense acting talent but kudos to the director for at least giving her this work to portray which she does with √©lan. No one can even guess her disabilities and she deserves much more meatier roles. Heroine looks simple and literally carries the girl next door look. Surprisingly her portion travels throughout the movie and is not just restricted to 2 songs. High time, comedy portions are removed from movies with such intense story line. Agreed that its supposed to be a relief, but hope the director watches the rushes before theatrical release and wonder if at any point either of those jokes made sense or tickled. Villain’s role is limited and comes out rushed. Hero, guess everyone had already gone enough ga-ga over his under play and strict police officer performance. Arun Vijay deserves more movies and more success for all his slog in the industry. His perseverance has begun to pay, hopefully.

I saw an article, more of a rant by a doctor (medical student?? Not sure) where there was stinging criticism on how the movie shows IVF/Artificial insemination (pardon any errors in technical terminology) in bad light and it makes the doctor’s play god. The post was also caustic on the literary liberty, generalizing one-off cases of misuse as core theme of the story, which may effectively impact the IVF “industry”/”business” as people may get scared of the reasons shown in the movie. In the movie, one of the victim was shown as opting for the sperm of a sportsperson, one being administered with her FIL’s for want of a male offspring(Can the tech decide the gender of the child as well? News for me) while the Anni character actually gets killed for not wanting the child as she considers it will make her “impure” for her husband. Obviously these are cinematic and in no way are quoting it as the norm. But the objections raised by the doctor was more towards how it would chase away people from opting IVF due to the stigma it might cause by the scenes shown in the movie and the reference he quoted was from “Ramana” where there is a famous scene involving treatment being given to dead body and how it permanently ruined the image of hospitals. Somehow I feel docs are always touchy and hyper sensitive when it comes to their depiction in media. Obviously their business thrives on faith and can’t blame them. Hope there is also some action taken to avoid such malpractices as well. Adhukum sound vitta nallarukkum. Any discovery has both good and bad. If projected on the goodness it becomes documentary while the badness gets to be a movie script. If the doctor folks are worried about their image getting tarnished by movies they are probably few decades late in their action.

Gils verdict – three cheers to movie directors who’ve finally opted for novels/novelists for stories yet retaining their touch in screenplay. May Arivazhagan and his tribe grow. Kutram 23 would definitely be a treat for thriller genre lovers.


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