Solid: Suresh Ravi, Raveena Ravi, Mime Gopi
At first, I believed Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban — offered by Vetri Maaran — was a psycho-thriller: as in, a thriller with a “psycho” killer on the free. Take a look at the indicators. There’s a captive, moaning in unimaginable ache. There’s the place this captive is present in, one thing that feels virtually fetishistic. There’s the pair of handcuffs. There’s the sickly yellow glare that surrounds this captive. There are the indicators of mud and disuse throughout, which recommend we’re someplace removed from civilisation. Slowly, we see that this analysis of the movie will not be too off the mark. We’re nonetheless in a psycho-thriller: as in, a psychological thriller. And the inspiration of the drama that performs out is without doubt one of the pillars of civilisation as we all know it right now: the police pressure that’s meant to maintain society in good well being, failing which there’s solely anarchy.
The irony of this superb movie — and that “pleasant”, reassuring title — is that the anarchy is unleashed by this very pressure. However first, let’s get finished with the underwhelming opening stretch, aka the hero-heroine introduction situations. He’s Prabhu (Suresh Ravi), who delivers meals for a Swiggy-type service. She’s his spouse Indu (Raveena Ravi). They dwell in a largish home, however then perhaps it’s as a consequence of her company job. In such a stretch, you’d need to see how two seemingly disparate varieties fell in love. As an alternative, we see them being in love, via foolish scenes and songs. If you’re the type who judges movies by their first 20-odd minutes (I’m), you’d be forgiven for sighing and anticipating extra of the identical. 9 instances out of 10, the primary 20-odd minutes are a useless giveaway of the sort of movie that lies forward. Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban, written and directed by RDM, is the tenth time, the uncommon exception.
Issues get attention-grabbing when thieves steal Indu’s chain. She’s additionally molested. After which issues get actually attention-grabbing. Prabhu is stopped by patrol police and a battle of egos is about in movement. Prabhu represents the hot-headed youth. He’s the sort of man who, if stopped by cops for no motive, will ask: “What have I finished? Why ought to I pay a bribe? What’s your station? I’ll put this information out on Twitter…” And Kannabiran (a really efficient Mime Gopi) represents the once-powerful System that individuals like Prabhu don’t worry that a lot anymore. And he makes it his mission to instill that worry in Prabhu (and in us) once more. After some time, this cat-and-mouse “recreation”, if you’ll, will get positively chilling. There’s some extent the place Prabhu virtually escapes his predicament. I used to be holding my breath.
Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban performs like Visaranai from one other POV. (It’s even shot in the identical police station.) If Vetri Maaran’s greatest movie was concerning the widespread man getting sucked right into a pitiless System for no fault of his personal, RDM’s psycho-thriller is about what may occur if you happen to deliberately fuck with the System, if you happen to attempt to play the Hero. Is it a cautionary story? Does it say that we must always all shut up and settle for the established order, forking out a bribe versus standing up towards injustice? That will not be the director’s intention, however that’s more likely to be the takeaway for many of us middle-class people, who dread confrontation (and the ensuing psychological torture). I. May. Not. Think about. Being. In. Prabhu’s. Sneakers.
The movie isn’t good. The funds points (and that opening stretch) aside, there are some dialogues which can be too on-the-nose. A few of these come from a superb cop, Murugesan (Tremendous Good Subramani). The performances are useful. However the readability within the director’s imaginative and prescient and the utter sincerity in his storytelling makes it very straightforward to get previous these points. There’s plenty of rock-solid writing, particularly in a flashback that explains why Kannabiran let Prabhu depart. However each time you suppose the worst is behind Prabhu, a brand new horror erupts. After what looks like ages, I watched a movie that’s genuinely unpredictable, and never in a gimmicky means. My favorite contact? It’s the bit the place Indu and the boys who robbed her are current on the station on the identical time. As I stated: unpredictable. That is an auspicious begin, and it’s going to be attention-grabbing to see the place RDM goes from right here.