Kaatrin Mozhi Review

Is it always a sin to watch the original and then watch its remake? Is comparing a remake with an original any good? If the answer is a resounding yes for the above questions, then I'm not as guilty as I am supposed to be.


It's purely my opinion that for a remake there is an unfair advantage of having a story and screenplay on a platter. At the same time, I do acknowledge the fact that the filmmaker inherits an immense responsibility to carry forth the success of the original along with its craft. While saving this thought for a later argument, let's get to business!


Director Radha Mohan, whose last film, '60 Vayathu Maaniram' that incidentally happens to be a Kannada remake, has come up once again with 'Kaatrin Mozhi' which is an official remake of the Bollywood hit, 'Tumhari Sulu'. The title heavily leans on the lyrics of the song from 'Mozhi', a blockbuster that released more than a decade back and had the same combo of Jyothika and director Radha Mohan. As a brand, the positioning is impressive!


Vijayalakshmi (Jyothika), a housewife leads a mundane life that centres around her husband and kid. She does it with pride and has an avid enthusiasm to prove herself among the ridicule that she suffers from her pushy father and twin sisters. She opens up to take on a job as a radio jockey for a late night show that gives rise to a different set of domestic issues. Then, the movie is all about how Viji wades her way through and manages to strike a chord with her husband and others.


Jyothika's choice of women-centric films continues to thrive. 'Tumhari Sulu' was a great choice, but Jyothika could hardly match the more organically groomed performance that Vidhya Balan churned out in the original. Vidhya Balan in the original, right from her looks brought forth the nuances, the little banters she has with her husband (played by Manav Kaul in the original) was so convincing that the monotony in the screenplay after a while was not notable. But, in the Tamil remake, Jyothika thrusts her expressions to be one up with Vidhya Balan and especially her mimicking scenes were irritable, to say the least.


The chemistry between Vidharth and Jyothika was totally missing. In fact, Vidharth came across much younger to her on screen. And this brings an altogether a different question - why should such movies have an actor like Vidharth? Why not a Suriya? Even if commercial considerations are factored in, this could be as much a Suriya film as Jyothika's. Vidharth is not a bad actor, but watching him as a pair to Jyothika was an eyesore. But, having said that Vidharth had equal screen space and a good scope to perform. Why can't it be leveraged better with an actor (okay, a star) like Suriya?


Others in the cast like MS Bhaskar and Kumaravel who are Radha Mohan's regulars have done their parts with aplomb. Lakshmi Manchu in her role as the radio station manager was on auto-pilot. The songs in the movie too tried to replicate the character build-up that was tailored for Vidhya Balan in the original. AH Kashif the newbie music director has not done anything impressive.


For those who haven't watched the original movie in Hindi, this might come across as an impressive Jyothika starrer where she has tested the boundaries with her expressions. For others (like me) who have watched the original, this is just another flawed attempt by Jyothika who seemed to perform on steroids. Director Radha Mohan should put aside his newly found love for remakes and play to his strengths of coming up with much more organically developed scripts right from his gut, dipped with sweet signature wits and above all rooted in tender human relationships!

Kaatrin Mozhi tries to be as faithful to its original in terms of screenplay. But Jyothika's over-the-top expressions and lack of nativity don't help the movie to accomplish what it originally set out to do. (2.2) - Baranidharan Sivasankaran


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