Movie: “Soodhu Kavvum”; Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Sanchita Shetty, Radha Ravi, M.S. Bhaskar, Simha, Ashok Selvan, RJ Ramesh Thilak and Karuna Karan; Rating: ***1/2
Packed with several funny, outrageous twists, “Soodhu Kavvum” (SV) makes for a great one time watch. You can’t possibly enjoy the film a second time because most of the plot is closely attached to the twists.
Treading the path few Tamil films have attempted, “Soodhu Kavvum” proves yet again that content is king.
A brawl in a bar brings together four petty criminals hoping to make ends meet by pulling off small crimes. Three have no prior experience in any sort of criminal activities but Dass, the most senior amongst them, has been kidnapping for the last few years. Dass recruits the three wastrels and teaches them kidnapping techniques.
Before we know it, the team of misfit kidnappers are out on the streets, abducting random people for small amounts of money because they don’t want to get too greedy. However, things take an unexpected when they kidnap the son of a local minister. The supposedly easy task almost gets the four killed. What did they do to put their own lives in danger? This forms the rest of the story.
The film is similar to British comedy “Four Lions”, especially the plot revolving around the four lead characters. While the English flick was about how four misfit ‘jihadis’ wish to blow something up to join a terrorist group, this is about four unemployed men who wish to pull off one last kidnapping to settle down in life. Of course, nowhere does “Soodhu Kavvum” appears to be a frame to frame copy of the English film so the possibility of a copy can be ruled out.
The humour in the film never evokes laughter, but entertains at regular intervals. It progresses at an unhurried pace, except for the extended second half that could have been easily chopped by few minutes.
The initial recruiting scene involving the three characters and their respective past stories result in some best humorous moments of the film. While most of the humour can be brushed off as passe, debutant director Nalan uses sarcasm at appropriate junctures to perfection.
Be it the misfortune of the only righteous character in the film of a politician or the highly educated group member-turned-kidnapper, Nalan highlights that society has no room for good people in his own way.
All lead characters get equal amount of screen presence to prove their mettle.
“Soodhu Kavvum” is also one of the few films that doesn’t waste time on a romantic track. There is no such thing called a hero or a villain in the film as everything revolves around the lead characters.
Nalan makes us root for a bunch of misfits and their acts of stupidity; this partly works in favour of the film.
Music does play an important role in the success of the film. Except for one song, you don’t find other songs disturbing the flow of the film.
Vijay along with a bunch of debutantes shine in their respective roles. The unlikely friendship between the four characters is a treat to watch.