GRADE: AA / 90%
Soodhu Kuvoom is a dark comedy built on themes of unemployment, kidnapping, blackmail, police brutality, fake encounters and corruption, but not for a fraction of a second does it forget that it is first and foremost a black comedy, and it never loses its manic energy. or his sacrificial comedy while handling his heavyweight themes. The movie never breaks its ground rules, and even when at times you feel like it might go off course, the story cleverly deviates back to its original course. Take, for example, a scene from the movie in which the four main characters are arrested on kidnapping charges and brought to court; That’s when you say “Oh no, now they’re going to spend the rest of the hour turning the movie into a silly drama in court”, but no, that’s when Soodhu Kuvoom hilariously reminds us that he won’t break its foundations, and it’s going to be a fast-paced black comedy.
So, in a humorous twist, the ‘victim’ (who is actually the brain ‘faking his kidnapping, actually being kidnapped, conspiring with his kidnappers and then giving them a slip) denies that the four kidnapped him and the case it is immediately dismissed. The tone of the film is both consistent and cautious, never forgetting how it should be presented, but conveying its message excellently. Bollywood movies tend to have a tendency to very easily forget the original tone of their projects: a movie that is extremely funny until the interval will suddenly turn into a cloying melodrama after the interval to cater to sentimental audiences, and sensible audiences. they are left thinking, “Hey, wait, wasn’t she watching a comedy before going to the bathroom during intermission? Did the filmmakers flush her down the toilet to throw out a silly melodrama all of a sudden?” Maybe Bollywood could take some lessons from Tamil movies like Soodhu Kuvoom and put things together.
It’s safe to say that none of Soodhu Kuvoom’s men are a saint, and everyone explores, shows their dark side, and plays dirty to get their share of the pie. But there is anguish and despair that leads them to take the shortcut to wealth and success. Our protagonist Das, is an amateur kidnapper who is more afraid of offending his victim and the victim’s relative while demanding the ransom money. He assures the victim’s family member that he need not be concerned about the victim’s welfare and that the victim is safe and comfortable in his care. His ransom demands are negligible and the funniest part is that he tips each victim with ransom money after releasing them. These absurdities are nothing when we get to the part of Das’s invisible friend, Shalu, who is only visible to Das and is an accessory to his crimes. The other three men, Kesavan, Sekhar and Paglavan, are friends who are unemployed, one was fired for defending himself against accusations of misbehaving with a co-worker, the other is a jobless homeless man, and the third is kicked out of his hometown. . Fate (a drunken fight) brings these four men together and then their kidnapping journey begins. This is shown in a completely hilarious sequence, where we see people of all ages and personalities being kidnapped and released soon; there is a lady who shows no signs of panic and continues to speak coldly on her cell phone even after being abducted.
In one of their crimes, the victim’s father calls them and asks them to kidnap the son of Minister Gnanodhayam. The father turns out to be the brother of a contractor who was arrested under Gnanodhayam on bribery charges, and wants revenge on the Minister. So all he wants our four heroes to do is kidnap Gnanodhayan’s son Arumai and ask for two million rupees as ransom. The heroes agree and hunt down Arumai one day, but are taken aback when another group of men kidnap him in front of their eyes before they can make their move. Later, dressed as policemen, they try to rescue-kidnap Arumai and when they find him they realize that the guy had organized his own kidnapping. Later, the five (six if the invisible girl is included) try to scam Arumai’s father and share the money with each other. His plan succeeds until Arumai, the clever fox, gives the others a slip and a ruthless rule-breaking cop is deployed to root out the culprits. What made me most happy watching this movie was that it brought me closer to my true roots, my South Indian blood. This is the first time I have seen a movie in Tamil and I have lived for a full nineteen years in India, and this movie made me understand what crowd-pleasing entertainment really is. Mainstream Bollywood movies are too obsessed with fair looks and toned bodies, so much so that their six pack or size zero decides who the biggest stars are. The Soodhu Kuvoom actors would hardly last in Bollywood because they don’t have the looks or the figure to make it into a major Bollywood blockbuster, but the natural, earthy, indigenous charisma these actors possess is something that’s in the Bollywood bandwagon ( with exceptions, of course) I can only dream. No one here poses for the camera, and we know that these actors are performing to entertain their audience. Even the handsome Shalu, played by a beautiful Sanchita Shetty, has a worthy role in the movie, which is rare in Bollywood.
Everyone in this world has a dark side, says Soodhu Kavoom, and most are desperate to play dirty, and in this bad world, dishonesty is the way to success. And what about the rules? Well, weren’t they always meant to break?