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Soodhu Kavvum – The indisputable gamble

May 2, 2013 by Ajay

A few days back in an interview, Nalan said “Not even a single scene or a dialogue in the whole movie will be unrelated to the script. Every single thing that is happening and every character who appears on the screen will provide a strong support to the story”. This is what intrigued me the most to watch this movie. It is surprising to see that the movie has actually lived up to his word.

Soodhu Kavvum

The amount of detailing directors these days give to their script is astonishing. You can’t find a single scene or a character to be unnecessary (except for a couple of songs). This can come only from someone who has prior experience in short films – because you cannot have any scenes or dialogues that are unnecessary due to the time constraint. Nalan being well experienced in this arena, Soodhu Kavvum turns out to be an outstanding flick.

Everything seemed to work out for this movie right from the promotions, most of which was taken care of by Nalan’s reputation in Naalaya Iyakkunar and Santhosh Narayanan’s usual offbeat tracks. To top it all, they have the sensational Vijay Sethupathi, who has the highest hit ratio at present. When you make a movie in such an environment and when you also have a brilliant story to back it up, there is absolutely no way to go wrong.

I just couldn’t condense the story into a single line. There is a guy who kidnaps for a living; his recently formed team consisting of a few unemployed youngsters who don’t have any motive in their lives; his girlfriend with whom he lives (hats-off to Nalan on revealing the twist early into the story and not giving it much importance); a straight forward pain-in-the-ass politician who is irritated by his son who is completely in conflict with his ideals and his ever-worrying wife; a rough and tough, chosen-to-be-mute policeman who has only one expression in his face for the whole time and a splendid story that links all these characters. Even if someone tried to say the story in a single line, he will end up narrating the whole movie.

The songs sound awesome when heard alone. They look good with their videos too. But some just don’t sync in. Especially the Kaasu Panam track seemed a little unnecessary despite the awesomeness off the video. Good thing they didn’t overuse the theme music and saved it for the best parts alone. In some places, the BGMs were spectacular. Some BGMs which normally would sound completely in contrast to the scenes, sounded perfect in this movie.

There weren’t any sub-par performances.  Even though ‘natural acting’ seems like an oxymoron, I can’t find a better word to describe Soodhu Kavvum’s cast. Everyone had equal screen space and everyone gave their best. Quoting even a single scene is an insult for the movie but if asked, I would the mention the scene where Vijay Sethupathi collects the money from the father of the first girl he kidnaps. It lasted just for a few seconds and his casualness was brilliant.

Dear writers who write for Santhanam, this is how you write one-liners. Straight, sharp and without any innuendos. The black humour was perfect in all parts. Again quoting a scene will be an insult to the movie and I would not like to make the same mistake twice.

There is this revolution going on in Tamil cinema where directors are actually starting to give importance to their stories and script and where heroes and heroines are starting to not matter. When asked for ‘whose movie is it?’, people are answering with the director’s name and not the actor’s. These kinds of directors and audience are not new to Tamil cinema – they have just grown in number in recent times. I hope that this healthy revolution continues.

Soodhu Kavvum – A black comedy without any slapstick humour