Oru Kuppai Kathai Tamil Movie Review
Films on marginalized communities and workers are few and far between. Whenever we think of such films director Bala's name comes to mind. He enjoys a reputation to deal with uncanny subjects and present the same in a gut-wrenching fashion with conviction. All throughout watching "Oru Kuppai Kathai" I was wondering whether the movie could have achieved what it intended with a filmmaker like Bala at least penning the dialogues.
The movie had an intriguing premise of that of Chennai's scavengers. Little have we thought about their life and times. Even after watching this movie which is based on them, we still end up knowing that much. The treatment wasn't exactly raw but was flavoured with cinematic ingredients. The scenes were on expected lines but nothing out of the ordinary! It's the same slum-life that we've seen before in movies like "Kaaka Muttai"
The movie is about the life of a scavenger in Chennai, Kumar (Dinesh), who finds it hard to get married mainly because of his job. Finally, he manages to find a girl in Valparai, Malarkodi (Maisha), who marries him, ignorant about his job. When she comes to know of her husband's job, she makes a hue and cry but reluctantly accepts it. Things take a turn for the worse when she betrays Kumar and leaves with a guy whom she thinks she deserves. Finally, she realizes the mistake and it's all too late.
The title though at the outset seemed like a literal way to convey the core conflict in the movie between the lead characters, gradually it turns out to have a metaphorical connotation of their estranged relationship. The movie doesn't offer anything new story-wise, except for the premise it carries along. The core story of a wife aspiring for a much better life, especially when she feels betrayed has been seen a lot many times in the past.
The first half where Kumar's life gets established with some interesting bits. For instance, the way in which he casually hands over a bottle of liquor to his mom and granny, while he stays away from it. The portion where he approaches a potential bride who happens to be a popular chain snatcher was quite funny. These bits gave a perspective on the life and times of Kumar. Also, after Kumar marries Malarkodi, at some point we do root for Malarkodi, for the misery (or shock) she gets subjected to time and again and also Kumar's inability to do anything better!
Performances from the main leads were decent. There was nothing extraordinary. Dinesh "master" who was seen in bits and pieces during dance sequences, shaking legs with the popular heroes, has taken the leap forward to do the lead role. He has chosen the right role. It was the role that drove his performance and not the other way around.
For Manisha, this was another complicated role where she gets exploited. Right from "Vazhakku Enn" her roles have been ever so exploitative by wicked men. Yogi Babu was seen in some sequences during the first half but disappears in the latter half.
Songs were average and served more as speed breakers in the second half. Technicalities, in general, weren't noteworthy enough. However, the filmmaker's intent to convey rawness by shooting in real locations have to be appreciated. Crowd management and planning alone could have taken a toll on the entire crew! Well done!!
Director Kaali Rangasamy has made a decent debut with "Oru Kuppai Kathai" which has an interesting premise but suffers from amateurish writing and insufficient character development. I wish if only the writing was outsourced to a director like Bala, the treatment could have taken a giant leap!!