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Kadugu  ( U ) (2017)  (Tamil)
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Kadugu Review

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Mustard (Kadugu), an inconspicuous but an essential ingredient for a palatable meal, serves as the title for a movie with the inconspicuous Rajakumaran (more popularly known to be actress Devayani's husband) playing the lead. Well, the spice has served its purpose with zest.
2.7 out of 5 (Fairly Good) Kadugu NOWRUNNING REVIEW | Baranidharan S
Rating:  2.7/5
Nowrunning Critics: 2.7/5
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Mustard (Kadugu), an inconspicuous but an essential ingredient for a palatable meal, serves as the title for a movie with the inconspicuous Rajakumaran (more popularly known to be actress Devayani's husband) playing the lead. Well, the spice has served its purpose with zest.

Director Vijay Milton has once again tried to bounce back with 'Kadugu' after getting mercilessly walloped at the box office in his last outing with Vikram in '10 Enrathukulla'. With this attempt, the director has genuinely attempted to narrate a gripping tale with a humble cast. At this juncture, the producer of the movie, actor Suriya has to be appreciated for supporting such attempts under his production house, 2D entertainment.

The movie is about genuine and suppressed human emotions bursting its way out when justice is not served. Though this ain't a novel theme for Kollywood, the staging was different, the actors and their roles were refreshing and the narration was humble and straightforward with some commercial compromises towards the end.

Also, the movie strongly routes to promote one of our cultural folk art - the tiger dance (puli aattam). Rajakumaran as the low-life tiger dancer, 'Puli' Pandi was an apt choice for the role. He was meant to bear the brunt for the most part of the movie by the other characters and is allowed to vent it all out at the end. Great effort at underplaying by an "under-player"!

Bharath with a character having shades of grey was natural as the hot-headed local lad who jumps at every opportunity to showcase himself as the good samaritan among the masses. Radhika Prasiddha, playing a school teacher once again (last time she played a teacher in 'Kuttram Kadithal') has got an offbeat role with a murky twist at the end. Hope Radhika doesn't get stereotyped in similar roles in her future projects.

Vijay Milton, for reasons unknown, has roped in directors like SS Stanley (cameo), Venkatesh and Balaji Sakthivel (cameo) for various roles. The guy who played the role of 'Anirudh', Bharath Seeni is a noteworthy mention. The old woman who plays Bharath's grandmother was also noteworthy for her timely quirks and slangy dialogue delivery.

Another aspect that added to the strength of the script was the place where the story was staged - Tharangambadi (Travancore), a small and calm sea town, that draws its charm from the earthy ethos and humble men. I believe this is the first movie that has been shot here entirely (please correct me if I'm wrong).

Cinematographer Vijay Milton has helped the director in him in narrating the script with simple and natural visuals. Technically, sound design was below par. The front channel mixing has gone for a toss. The background channels were fine. Initially, I thought the auditorium was at fault, but later that day when I watched 'Pambu Sattai' in the same auditorium it was working fine. But I have to reserve my judgment on this count. The music, however, was strictly average.

The movie had some commercial elements like the underdog taking out his vengeance on the baddies during the climax fight and a baddie turning a new leaf within a span of a few minutes and some wise words. Barring all these niggles, the movie can be definitely classified as a one-time-watchable offbeat flick, with its heart in the right place.
Critic: Baranidharan S
 2.7 out of 5 (Fairly Good) 2.7 out of 5 (Fairly 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

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