As a coming-of-age medical thriller with deep rooted sentimental values, Kuttram 23 targets the family audiences and makes itself worthy of a watch. Good job Arivazhagan and team!
3 out of 5 (Good)
| Baranidharan S (NOWRUNNING)
The new age Tamil crime thrillers are slowly but surely announcing their mainstream presence. In such films, the bone of contention in the plot would mostly centre around the fallacies of neo-technological developments and breakthroughs that are considered to be life savers.
We may well label them as conspiracy theories, which of course creates enough head room for a creator to weave in some pulpy crime fiction with ample dosage of action, romance and sentiment along with thrills smeared all over.
Director Arivazhagan who is known for his solid craft and narrative has come up with Kuttram 23, a crime thriller that is based on Tamil crime novelist Rajesh Kumar's novel of the same name.
Initially, when the title card played out, we are greeted with animated virile human sperms swimming and diffusing into an egg and the subsequent formation of a zygote, foetus and finally a baby. Essentially, we are given a primer on what we can expect from the movie for the remaining 2 hours. A twin murder happens at a church for which assistant commissioner Vetrimaaran (Arun Vijay) takes charge and is worked into the case. While investigating the case, he loses his pregnant sister-in-law (Abhinaya). He connects the dots with the deaths of other pregnant women and cracks the murky conspiracy behind the crime.
I was pretty impressed with the title. The significance of '23' gets revealed as we approach the climax and for that, the original credit should go to novelist Rajesh Kumar. That, in turn, revealed the medical aspect that was imbibed in the thrills and called for the attention to detail.
As a movie, the narrative was decently paced and visually the frames looked stylish and trendy, thanks to cinematographer Bhaskaran. The cast was nothing out of the ordinary but was neatly played out by the respective characters. Of course, the one who runs away with the cake and cherry is Arun Vijay, primarily for his superb physique and a natural flair for underplaying a tough cop's role - an overwhelming performance from a seriously underrated actor.
Abhinaya, in a sister-in-law's role, was refreshing and her performance was as always up to the mark. Mahima Nambiar as the love interest was another pretty face but thankfully spared of those typical insane traits of a Tamil heroine.
With average music and BGM, hate-turning-into-love scenes, villain giving up everything before dying sequence, hero taking a crack at the case and solving it all by himself, the movie definitely had its share of run of the mill cliches, but what largely saved it was the tight narration and decent performances.
The director was diligent and consistent with his theme and mise en scene. A good example being the climax fight taking place in the play area of a fertility and children's hospital - the visual artist in Arivazhagan walked tall.
As a coming-of-age medical thriller with deep rooted sentimental values, this one targets the family audiences and makes itself worthy of a watch. Good job Arivazhagan and team!
Critic: Baranidharan S
3 out of 5 (Good)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good