Kuruthi Aattam is a fragmented story of betrayal and revenge that suffers from inconsistent writing and messy execution.
kuruthi attam starring Atharva and Priya Bhavani Shankar is set in Madurai and, like many other films, depicts the lives of the people who control the city’s underworld. Only this time, instead of a loud and boorish man at the helm of things, the criminal under command is a woman. Gandhimadhi played Radhika Sarathkumar, she rules the city’s thugs and powerful criminals with an iron fist. Despite the constant danger she finds herself in, she manages to hold on to her power. She is also a feared villain in the film.
Sakthi lost her parents in an accident as a result of Gandhimadhi’s instructions. She had ordered a bus to be burned, and along with it she burned Sakthi’s parents. One would expect that she would grow up with a desire for revenge in her heart. Instead, he appears to be a young man who has nothing but friends, love, and life on his mind. In fact, he befriends Gandhimadhi’s son, Muthu, after a fight that causes misunderstanding between Muthu and his other toxic friend of his. Now this relationship between Sakthi and Muthu is an interesting take on friendships between straight men. However, this exploration does not last long.
In fact, one of the two interesting things about this movie is this friendship that Muthu and Sakthi have in secret. By the time this breaks, there’s really no emotional substance to the film. The romantic angle between Sakthi and school teacher Vennila (Priya Bhavani Shankar) doesn’t work out as well as it should. While Vennila struggles with the trauma of being the daughter of a formerly powerful bully, that doesn’t explain why she feels the need to physically abuse her students to instill discipline in them. Her belief system seems contrary and this is never explored beyond the surface.
She searches for happiness after befriending Sakthi. In fact, it is he who pushes her to seek her happiness consciously of her. However, she is clear that she cannot live with a man who would remind her of her father or her violent lifestyle. At the moment, her father is disabled and it is assumed that the cause of this is an attempt by her enemies against her life. It’s clear that she can’t deal with violence, and yet in one of the scenes, the movie places her slapping her in the middle of a fight sequence.
Considering the issues he had raised with Sakthi about not being okay with violence, one would expect him to react to this fight appropriately. However, the audience does not see her breakdown or have a moment of weakness dedicated solely to her to feel her emotions regarding almost losing the man she is in love with. Instead, this fight sequence transitions into another conflict. The film itself is a series of conflicts that are not resolved. At no time is there closure for any of the characters in the film,
For example, the question of what really happened to Sakthi’s sister, Kalai, is the first thing that comes to mind after seeing the film.
Beyond all of this, the film has a climactic stunt sequence that is laughable. The execution is surprisingly youthful and it wouldn’t be surprising to see these scenes turned into memes for social media consumption. It’s surprising because the opening part of the movie, which also had quite a few stunts, didn’t seem that messy. This makes one one, were they in a hurry? The scene was definitely not impressive, and only caused laughter in the dark corners of the theater.
Similarly, there are also inconsistencies in the wording of the conflicts between characters. The film tries to connect characters by fate as a 2011 film. Vaanam had done in the past. However, it fails terribly. In fact, this unclear connection from one character to another serves as the downfall of this film. While a helpless child can push an adult to any extreme, the same is not true for an adult. Especially in the absence of a bond that is strong enough to influence someone’s action. However, the entire film depends on such links. Either between Muthu and Sakthi, which did not develop well enough, between Sakthi and Vennila, or between Sakthi and the father of a patient.
The second thing that really worked in the movie’s favor is the character of Arivu. Portrayed by Prakash Raghavan, Arivu shows the audience the depth of human greed and desperation. He is not an infallible villain. Instead, he is too flawed to take over the throne. However, he is power hungry and selfish, and this is the perfect cocktail for an entertaining villain. Even in the last moments, it is he who steals the show.
Just a little more of that inspired writing would have helped kuruthi attam. To be honest, the wrong spelling of Kabaddi in Tamil on the t-shirt at the beginning of the movie was very distracting.
Kuruthi Aattam is playing in theaters
Priyanka Sundar is a film journalist who covers films and series in different languages with a special focus on identity and gender politics.
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