Oru Kuppai Kathai – A credible attempt!!!
Oru Kuppai Kathai is a title that could be construed in a couple of ways after you have seen the film. Is it a reference to the job of the protagonist or does kuppai refer to the straying away from a marriage that is the central conceit of the film? I am hoping that the former is the case, as this film (atleast on the surface) does not treat certain decisions as sins but as rather human errors.' To err is human and to forgive is divine' is what the film actually propagates.
The film gets straight into the plot as we get to know the leading man as a contended garbage cleaner trying to find his life partner. It takes sometime to get accustomed to the proceedings as the acting in general is a bit amateurish. But things sort of settle down because Dinesh plays (or atleast looks so) an introvert and so his interactions with others does come across as a mix of limited acting prowess and in tune with his characterisation. Manisha Yadhav does pretty well. Not great acting but definitely she is the best in the film and also a cut above our average mainstream heroine. But more care should have been taken to cast the actors playing Arjun and his friend. Having them play residents of Karnataka could explain their atrocious Tamil but that is a very small excuse.
What works for the film is that it does manage to stir our emotions despite all the flaws. In fact for most part of the film, no character is really painted black. Their decisions are questionable but there are some justifications for each of them. Even someone like Arjun who hardly thinks twice before pulling a married woman into an affair is not shown as cheating the woman in question. He is quite open about his intentions. But towards the end, the director takes the lazy route. What could have been a film about complex relationship dynamics turns into a good vs bad tale with Arjun and his friend now becoming sex maniacs all of a sudden. Well they could have been so all this while and were probably camouflaging this nature to achieve their means but this comes across poorly on screen. And it flummoxes me that how in a film that tries to put a person's character above good looks we have a cringe worthy scene of fat shaming of a girl in an attempt of comedy.
Joshua Sridhar has come up with some very good songs. One really hopes that he does get more time in the limelight. The director has effectively utilised the songs as montages and they fit in seamlessly.
Oru Kuppai Kathai comes across as a credible attempt to tell an important tale. But the amateurish treatment and performance at many places keep pulling it back. Nevertheless it does make an emotional connect.