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Tuesday 5 March 2024
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Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu Review

Director: Suresh Sangaiah

Cast: Vidarth, Raveena, George, Helllo Kandasamy, Krishnamoorthi

After getting critical acclaim at various international film festivals including the New York Fest, debutant Suresh Sangaiah’s comedy drama ‘Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu’ has hit the screens. Like how young and first time directors shine in K’town these days, Suresh’s film, which is inspired by his real life experiences in his native Rajapalayam, simply floors you with his modest yet quirky theme recounted with great confidence.

The entire proceedings are narrated through the eyes of a goat that is soon to be offered at a temple, which hints that the movie is not the run–of–the–mill kind.

People of Naduvampatti decide to visit their family deity Muniyaandi Temple which includes a newly married couple Ramamoorthy (Vidarth) and Seetha (Raveena) as the former’s grandmother promised a goat to be offered to the deity once her grandson was married. They hire a lorry and midway in their travels, their vehicle hits something in a remote forest. They find a man dead in front of the vehicle along with his motorbike. And much to the shock of others, it was Ramamoorthy – trying to impress his young wife – who was at the wheels.

After initial arguments and discussions with each one throwing their own ideas, finally they decide to hush-up the murder. Meanwhile, Ramamoorthy calls his lawyer uncle (George) to the spot. What started as a happy journey eventually turns a spot of bother and how each one reacts to the confused situation forms the rest. Apparently, the underlying message is the reaction of people to human life as opposed to the prospects of slaughtering an animal (goat).

The success of the movie is largely due to its apt casting and well-defined characters, small or big. Sangaiah has utilized the strength of all actors – some are fresh and others less known – to his advantage and has delivered an engaging and entertaining fare. And the peculiar names of the various characters like Kondi, Arumpaadu, Yezharai, Sevval (that are common in Rajapalayam belt) and their native Tamil are appealing elements. Some of the double meaning dialogues mouthed even by the ladies of the group do not come across as intrusive, as that’s how the villagers express their naughtiness. The rustic humour is in built and enjoyable.

Vidarath should be lauded for being part of good scripts. Here he pulls it off with utmost ease. Raveena – the dubbing artist turned actress – is not that great looking but she suited the role and has done her part well. Seasoned actor George proves his versatility in a role with slight negative shades.

It’s not just us, the audience, who’re watching all this with mild amusement but also the sacrificial goat that will be offered to God (Muniyaandi) in a few days. OKKM is narrated through the eyes of that goat.

It remains a spectator throughout as the main plot unveils – the lorry runs someone over and a false story has to be created – but the goat’s relevance remains till the end.

OKKM’s narrative could have easily gone astray and caused some moments that lag, but director Suresh Sangaiah manages to keep you in a tight grip throughout. He weaves a suspense-laden thriller – you keep wanting to know what would eventually happen to the man who was ‘murdered’ – but that is well layered with some genuinely funny sub-plots and strong valid points about animal slaughter.

The casting is perfect, and I’m not talking just about the lead pair – Vidharth and Raveena – who play their parts well. The bunch of villagers who accompany them on the journey are a wonderful lot; their camaraderie and verbal jousts liven things up. Not only is their Tamil earthy and so exciting, but their names too are – there’s someone called Kondi and another called Sevval. The pick of the lot was one named Yezhara (seven and a half). It’s this bunch of simple, innocent people that make OKKM utterly charming.

 

‘Oru Kidaayin’ has its share of flaws. The second half is not as tight and engaging as the first half. But such things are unavoidable for a film that does not resort to any kind of commercial compromise.

Not just the characters and their names but also the casting is so perfect that we forget that we are watching a work of fiction. Each member of the star cast deserves a standing ovation.

Vidharth has to be praised for selecting such small and beautiful films and giving just what the script demands from him. There is no scope for him to perform as an actor but his casting is completely justified as he perfectly gives what is required for the character. Raveena Ravi is the only actor who looks a little odd when compared to others but she makes it up for that with her neat performance. George as the crooked lawyer does his part well. Aaru Bala as an outspoken village youngster gives a memorable performance. All other actors have done their part very well. Each of them have been used well for comedy as well as emotions and they have given their best in both counts.

Music by debutant R.Raghuram has done a fantastic job by providing breezy songs with the tinge or rural sounds and rerecording that aptly supplements the narration. R.V.Saran’s cinematography has captured the rural life with its realistic beauty. Praveen K.L’s Editing is neat.

Verdict– ‘Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu’ is a thoroughly realistic, enjoyable and moving film about rural life. Don’t miss watching it in theaters.




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