Friday, 8 December 2017

Kodiveeran: Not a flagship of Sasikumar, Muthaiah either!

Documenting the cultural identities of select villages of Tamilnadu has been a long time phenomena of Tamil cinema. And for filmmaker Muthaiah, it has been a habit since his first movie. In that row, the recent release of the filmmaker Kodiveeran starring Sasikumar, Mahima Nambiar, Viddharth and Sanusha also has a lot of content that reflect the cultures and lifestyles of a couple of microcosmic villages in Sivagangai district. The movie also has Pasupathi and Poorna in some pivotal roles. And we could see the names of Balasaravanan and Vikram Sukumaran in the title and nowhere else in the movie.

The Ideology:

The film revolves around three bother-sister pairs and the emotion that revolves in their lives. With each of them belonging to different families, their tradition too differs. One of them comes from a spiritual soothsaying dissent. While, the second is from a conventional village, where people are involved in cultural festivals like shallow water fishing. The third brother-sister combo is where the plot's antagonism is loaded (overloaded, to be still precise), with a brother who is out from prison and a sister who wants revenge (all new in world cinema it seems).

The smartness of the director is that, he has connected all these traditional and emotional elements in a single plot of a rural hyperlink drama. For an instance, the screenplay flows in different directions from the beginning of the movie and meets at a single point in the interval block and ventures into a single story line in the second half. Well, that's not just enough from the director, who has sprinkled a lot of 'Inathoda Adayalam' elements throughout (Padichu vaanguna pattama moment).

The Script:

In the midst of such a smart screenplay, what went wrong with Kodiveeran? Nothing but is cliched story line and irrelevant one liners. The director has invested a lot of time on building up a brilliant screenplay and also has given serious detailing over the traditional elements and characters in the plot, like the fishing festival, kalyana vattam, a long waiting muraimaaman for his girl to tie knot and much more. But, these efforts have went in vain as the story line pulls down the flow due to it's misplaced songs and dialogues. Especially the one by the lead female, "Naama nenaikirathu nadakutho illayo, naama nenaikumpothaavthu nadakkanum." Seriously? It's not just restricted with just the female lead, but every other character in the movie has a punch dialogue to speak. Too overloaded!

The Cast:

With this Sasikumar-kind-genre plot, the actor has scored as usual in style. Be it sister sentiment, love or avenging, Sasikumar has did it all well. While Viddharth who plays the role of sincere government official named Subash Chandra Bose (of course, the geography's own, second most popular demigod), has did a mature acting which makes himself fit in the role. Pasupathi has a template villain role of a rural family drama which is not new to him. While, the cast's all female members have less space to perform. Among them, Sanusha has a decent screen space in which she plays the role of affectionate sister of Sasikumar. Again with dialogues like, 'Aniyaayam nadakkura edathukku Kannan varaano illayo, enga annan varuvaan.' And it does not really suit with her expressions. The female lead Mahima only has romance to do and she has did justice to it. Nothing else to say. Poorna's role is one of the most plot changing ones, still the weightage given for her in terms of screen space is comparatively very less, indeed a disappointment.

The Crew:

On a traditional note, the movie's technical department has struggled to make Kodiveeran feel rural. Except for a few numbers, NR Ragunandhan's background score could have been little more relative to the geography of the plot. Even in one of the numbers, 'Kalavani' in this movie has the percussion of 'Paathu Paathu' from Manja pai, which apparently was from the same composer (Well, we have one more person from Tamil cinema to win the 'Harris Jeyaraj Award' of excellence in repeated percussion!). While, Kathir's camera is more colourful for a barren land filled Sivagangai district. However, art director Sekar and choreographer Raju Sundaram (especially in the first song) have replicated a complete atmosphere of a village festival that is simply awesome. This efforts are simply wasted by the rest.


Having made a picture perfect movie like Komban, filmmaker Muthaiah this time has come down a level from his benchmark (if you believe he had one). Though the emotional and traditional quotient of the movie is so contented and give a documentary feel, the rest of the areas in its script, pulls Kodiveeran a little low, and literally make us feel, Why man? Why?

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, Dec 8, 2017.

This viewer's note is completely based on the perceptions of Santhosh Mathevan alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only.

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