Tamil Movie Reviews:

KARUPPUSAMY KUTHAGAIKKAARAR  கருப்பசாமி குத்தகைக்காரர்     

Cast: Karan, Meenakshi, Vadivelu
Music: Dhina
Direction: Moorthy

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 hardcore Madurai dialect makes even ordinary dialogs humorous. But the director unnecessarily 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.

Courtesy:  Balaji Balasubramaniam