Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum - A Vijay Sethupathi Show
The intent to not get typecast is very evident among the new breed of filmmakers who are making a mark. Nalan Kumarasamy also seems keen to show that his repertoire is varied.
A heartwarming relationship between a kind hearted gangster (Kathir) and a young IT professional (Yaazhini).
This is a Vijay Sethupathi show all the way. While the surface would just seem similar to the roles that he has been playing so far, Kathir has a few underlying shades.Though cautious like Daas in Soodhu Kavvum, Kathir is actually not scared. He actually chews more than he can swallow most of the times. It is really surprising to see the response this man is getting in the theatres. Nalan and Vijay Sethupathy seem to have the knack for pulling off scenes with mass appeal where the content is actually the ones that would involve Vadivelu. This is almost the anti-mass sort of hero worship. There is comedy when he gets beaten up because of his stupidity and the next second as he non nonchalantly wipes off the dust and sports a cooler the audience go crazy. Madonna makes an effective debut in Tamil. She looks the part and most importantly there is no conventional romance in the film and the two leads have got this spot on.
Santosh Narayanan's score has this surreal feel throughout the film. The film is set in a neighbourhood in Chennai but something about the entire ambience and Santosh's BGM gives us this feel. If it was 'Kaasu Panam' in Soodhu Kavvum it is Kakapo here, an enthralling number.
If Soodhu Kavvum was a dark comedy then the segment directed by Nalan in 'X the film' was the darkest comedy you could probably think off. But you saw glimpses of how he could treat a relationship at a different level through the omnipresent but physically absent girlfriend of Daas in Soodhu Kavvum. His latest offering too deals with an unconventional romance. It actually might not even fall in the romantic category. It is a blur between friendship and love.
Almost throughout the film Yaazhini calls Kathir as 'Sir' while he refers her as 'Pakkathu Veetu Ponnu'. Apart from the single instance when she rests on his shoulders in an inebriated state there is not a single scene that has them even look at each other with romance. You feel the care that he has for her and the respect that she has for him but never the love in the conventional sense. An amazing narration to hold this feel for the entire runtime. And it is good to see the maker treating the genre with the space it requires. The film never rushes at any point. It takes its time and this is refreshing. Given how Nalan actually has a finger on the pulse of the audience in creating those 'whistle worthy scenes' it is an admirable restraint to keep those minimal.
A huge departure from Soodhu Kaavum and Nalan shows he can shine in a film that deals with subtle emotions as well. With a brilliant performance from Vijay Sethupathi, Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum is treat of a different kind from the team of Soodhu Kavvum.