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Movie Review: Pachai Kili Muthu Charam

Gautham Menon, of 'Minnale' and 'Kaakha Kaakha' fame, has come back with a venture soon after the success of his Kamal Hassan starrer 'Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu'. The new flick is called 'Pachaikili Muthucharam' and has Sarath Kumar and Jyothika in the lead, with newcomers, playback singer Andrea and model Milind Soman in the cast as well.

Venkatesh (Sarath Kumar) is a regular middle-class bloke, works as a sales man, regular family - one wife (Andrea) and one son. Reasonably happy home life except for the fact that the son has acute juvenile diabetes. This pulls the couple apart physically and there we see the first chink - lack of intimate relations. One day, on his way to work, he sees fellow train traveller Geetha (Jyothika). Soon enough, they become buddies and chat about their lives. As they sit in a cafe, swapping family deets, for some strange reason, Venkatesh tells her he has got Rs 8 lakh in his kitty, for medical emergencies as his son has juvenile diabetes. From the word go, it seems like Geetha is in the driving seat where this relationship is concerned. She is quite keen to take this friendship to more intimate levels and one day, urges him to book them into a room so they can be together.

They go to a resort on the ECR and as Venkatesh continues with his self-doubts as they prepare to cross a no-go zone, they hear a tap at the door. He opens it and thug Lawrence (Milind Soman) comes barrelling into his life. Lawrence quickly puts two and two together and learns that herein lies his golden goose. He beats Venkatesh senseless; ties him up rapes Geetha and takes leave of them, after taking their cell phone details. Venkatesh wants to go to the police but is stopped by Geetha, who'd rather not face up to the day's happenings. Soon after, she gets a phone call from him, extorting for money. The calls don't stop till all the cash Venkatesh has kept squirreled away dwindles to nothing, at which point, Venkatesh comes clean to his wife. This breaks up their family and he vows to get his hard-earned money back. He starts an investigation that turns up some startling results. How Venkatesh keeps his vow to get the money and his peace of mind back forms the rest of the story.

The film starts off rather slow and when you travel up and down Chennai with Sarath Kumar and Jyothika on the trains every day, you wish Gautham would get a move on and speed things up. But once the movie picks up though, it becomes quite interesting and once we come across the twist in the tale, it becomes a real promising movie. Though I kept wondering why in hell's name would the man tell an acquaintance his bank balance, no matter how much he lusts after her or why the hell didn't they just chuck the cells, thereby ridding themselves of the burden? The latter doubt sort of gets answered as the plot develops and I reckon the former is played out so it links to the plot later on as well. But the execution of it leaves some doubts in some minds.

Despite these niggling flaws, I rather like this movie - mainly for the rather mature and clean approach to extra- marital affairs. After the glorious singing- dancing-overblown saga of KANK, I should take my hat off to Gautham for handling this sticky subject so well, especially in view of the ultra conservative Tamil cinema. Nowhere was it crass, vulgar or shoddy. Of course, he draws the line by making sure the protagonists don't actually 'do the deed', thereby making the bitter pill easier to swallow, I suppose.

Acting-wise, I would say Milind Soman has done a good job. The makeup helps - there is no model peering out of the familiar face. He looks every inch a thug and behaves like one too. Though he does make the usual error of mistaking shouting non-stop for displaying rage, he still turns out a fairly good performance. Jyothika surprises me - there was a time when I thought she was a duffer. But she has been maturing leaps and bounds over the years and in a tragic way, she manages to churn out really mature performances just when she has bid adieu to the career. Oh well! There's nothing to beat quitting while you are on top, is there?

The music score is by Harris Jayaraj and this is slowly becoming a regular combo, rather like the Mani Ratnam - A R Rahman deadly duo. Though not all of Harris's songs are instant hits, he is still a good composer, rather along the lines of Rahman. He understands the nuances of background score but at some places, he misses the mark completely, with overly loud shehnai playing mournfully in the background, with no connection to the dialogues and situations. Having said that, some of the songs are really catchy. His staple, Carnatic music singer Bombay Jayshree sings a melodious number, Unakkul Naan. Though her 'Vaseegara' from 'Minnale' will always be my favourite Jayshree-Harris tune, Unakkul Naan is quite melodious and hummable as well.

All in all, it is an okay sort of a flick - can sit through one time. Unless you are, like me, major anti-fan of Sarath Kumar and need other distractions, you could do worse than sit through this one.

Related link: My interview of one of the Gautham Menon's assistant directors to this movie, Meghana Karthik.

Posted by DesiGirl 11:06 PM  

1 Comment:

  1. Dee said...
    Update girl!!! Been seeing the same stuff for over a week;)

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