Movie Review – Oru Naal Koothu

Posted: August 19, 2016 in Movie Reviews
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“Rajkumara porutha varaikum unoda kalyanam nadanthalum varutha paduvan, nadakalenalum rombavae varuthapaduvan, unaku Raj ilama vera oruthanoda kalyanam achuna, elathayumae maranthutu varuthamae padamae nimathiya vazhvae, athu un thalayezuthu, athae nanachu Raj varuthapatae vazhvan, athu avan thalayezuthu, en rendu perum elathayum en kita solringanaka, paziyathooki en mela poda pakuringa”

Oru Naal Koothu

The above lines pretty much summarizes me. I’m Raj (Dinesh). Also a bit of Lingesh. Absolutely not Satish (Ramesh Thilak).

If you had anytime read my reviews you’d have known that I assume a character in the movie, I take movies too personal, I romanticize situations etc. That’s one reason why if my reviews work it works like hell, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t at all. That’s also a reason why half my reviews, don’t look like reviews at all.

I didn’t want to watch the movie at all for various reasons but my friend literally force fed me into watching the movie. It was at the exact time to have not watched this movie. But some movies are destined to be watched at the exact wrong time.

This ‘not watching’ also has a story. I didn’t want to watch the movie not because I was not interested to watch but because I was so looking forward to watch the movie, I wanted to reserve it for a special day.

‘Adiyae Azagae’ was one song which was instant hit amongst youngsters but I was irritated of it as the initial lick was straight off ripped from ‘Good Riddance’, one of my favorite songs. So every time I heard the initial lick in FM I used to change the song. But due to some factor I started to like the song and now I’m addicted to it.

It’s the same with the movie too, which didn’t interest me at all at first, then made me think of watching it. Like always I took this movie too, too personal. This coming one week after Iravi itself shows how much our cinema has evolved. Even though Iravi is my type of movie, the type which I would have both loved to shoot as well as watch, Oru Naal Koothu is a movie to be watched like this. Just another day, with no reason at all, when you don’t know what to do. It’s like one regular dish prepared by someone else other than your mom, which even though wouldn’t be as relishable like how your mom makes it but you still end liking it.

Coming to the movie, it has a pretty bad opening which rushes and forcefully induces chaos but things settle post title card. As most of them are new bees it took me a while to understand the number of storylines. There are majorly three story lines. One of Lakshmi (Mia George), which I would straight away dismiss. May be it happens, may be there are women who get the gift and run away from boys, maybe there are fathers who are this stubborn and still being respected but I could see him only as a villain and nothing else.

In fact all the parents in the movie look like villains to me. If the director had invested so much time in writing great lead characters why not do it for their parents do? Why are they always shown as wrong people?

Next comes the story of Susheela (Riythvika). She how beautifully she emotes. “Ponnunga elam sola matangana, neenga thaan solanum” in Madras, “Ungaluku avangala avalo pudikuma” in Kabali, “Paravala ithuvum nala than irukula” in Oru Naal Koothu. She could be the next Anjali. I’m so happy that she’s not fair and not size zero. Even if she doesn’t become Manorama she’d definitely be an actress to remember.

Not only her acting. The story line around her too is very strong. An unmarried brother, his friend who is like her brother, her fiancé who is confused, a funny friend whom she finally falls for. Selecting Ramesh Thilak for such a role deserves a special mention. Though not very convincing, he does what is needed. Above all the character which was written and acted the best was Lingesh. Such a fine actor, doesn’t overdo even a bit. See how easily he gets from liking to not liking a girl depending on others opinion. “Wife RJ va irukanganu evalo getha solalam” makes him say ‘yes’ for marriage and when a girl while giving him invitation smiles at him for an extra second, makes him think that he’s still an eligible bachelor, thus saying ‘no’ for marriage. And finally when Charlie explains, “ungaluku masam pathayaruva sambathikiravana patha ena thonum, unga vayasula enakena thonum theriyuma, sambathikiranla kalyanam ayidum, kozantha kuttinu santhosama irupanu thonum,” he says ‘yes’. A man’s middle life crisis couldn’t have been explained better. It’s like how Pavi explains in one of the brilliant bus stop scene of the movie, “Ambalainga elam sutha bayanthanguzi di, mukiyamana nerathula avalo than nee nu solu, avalo than sethuruvangae.” I love the way how they meet, how their life would have transformed, how Lakshmi asks Pavi to miss the bus. Beautiful isn’t it.

Humour is a major let down in the film. Be it Satish, Shoulder or anyone for that matter. The best line comes in the climax when Raj’s friend asks him whether we can have tiffin, timing at its best. To have had that line at such serious climax too deservers an applause. But like the opening, even in the climax too many things happen which could have been avoided. Oru Naal Koothu could have described marriage than one day in everyone’s life. This coming together didn’t work at all. And the title too was a major letdown.

Coming to our story. Kavya (Nivetha Pethuraj) is a girl you’ll instantly fall in love with, you can’t avoid that. There is something about her. She’s an ‘aval appadi ondrum azagillai’ category. But I loved Kavya’s confidence. When initially Raj gets to ask her whether she is single. Kavya says not yet and gives a smile, so confident. She knows what she is. I wonder why men don’t use women’s name as much as women use men’s name. See how many times Kavya calls him Raj but Raj rarely calls him by her name. Kavya, I don’t think is a tough name to be called out for.

When they get into relationship, the way she makes face at him, in office, after the bike breakdown, when Raj comes to her house were all brilliant. I don’t know why there were so many wide angled close up scenes of her face which didn’t work out. She’s not an outright pretty woman to show in that angle. Raj on the contrary is a shy guy with lot of limitations. He is poor and wants to settle. That financial angle didn’t work for me but the way he was skeptical about the marriage was well shot. Even though Kavya asking him to accompany her for shopping was bad, I loved the dialogue by Raj where he says, “enaku enga appava pudikathu, amma, appa, thambi, yarayum pidikathu, aana avangalukellam ena pidichirukae, naan enna seyya.” That’s quite a confession. Sometimes empathize men too, please.

Oru Naal Koothu is nowhere near a perfect film, not a film as strong as KB’s, not a film as artistic as Iraivi but it’s a film like an everyday life, shot by a person who wants you to tell the story more than how to tell the story. It talks about women, without a big feminist hoarding held above the head. So it’s less preachy, sometimes it might be a drag too but the drag works here more than the initial and climax twists. Or may be, as usual I’m taking it more personal for my own reason. Adiyae azagae…

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