Before AzhagarSamiyin Kudhirai gets to its MacGuffin, a wooden horse, it tours us through the village and its inhabitants- their beliefs, their fears, their wants. You know what makes them tick and that a lord named Azhagarsamy plays a vital role in their lives. The villagers are more god fearing than god idolizing. To make sure their requests are heard, they give Azhagarsamy a shape and form of a golden idol, which is mounted on a wooden horse. Problems creep into their lives once the horse goes missing (at a time when they need it the most) and the regular priest is replaced for lacking in psychic powers, with another one who is no more a psychic but is good at orchestrating convincing solutions for the gullible villagers. He assures them that the horse would return in three days. With luck being on his side, the horse does return, only this time it's not wooden, it's real. The police force gets dragged into the situation when someone from a neighboring village claims that the horse that Azhagarsamy sent to them is actually his lost horse. His name happens to be Azhagarsamy too.
Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai is a satirical comedy; it laughs at everyone- the villagers and their religious beliefs, the priests and their conning tactics, undercover policemen, foreign tourists and rustic womanizers. Its humour is circumstantial; you don't have clowns like Santhanam, Vivek or Vadivel jump at every opportunity to embarrass themselves.
Right from the beginning, you know you're watching good stuff. Bhaskar Sakthi's strong screenplay is the film's cornerstone. The characters aren't deep but yes, you see where they come from and without them there would be no fuel to drive the film. The acting, editing and the cinematography function in an unusual way giving the scenes the comic touches that they require. Illayaraja who delivered in Ponnar Shankar, proves again that he's worth his salt. The musical montage that encapsulates the relationship between Azhagarsamy and his horse is a joy to watch. You revel in it. Yet, the film rests on Suseendhiran's shoulders. Give the script to another director and he would've outraged the screenplay of its modesty. Cliches are scattered here and there, but they don't go over the top and are hence easy to ignore. It's interesting how adept Suseendhiran is at accommodating the regular audience's wants (I wish he didn't) while still preserving the film's integrity. He directs with an observant eye and a steady hand throughout; not once does it tremble.
Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai is an original satirical comedy that's well executed, thanks to a talented writer-director duo that's to be kept an eye on. You will walk out smiling.
Critic: Rohit Ramachandran
(3 / 5) : Good