Despite the ordinary performances, the gripping plot, engaging screenplay and care to technical details make director Manikandan’s Kutrame Thandanai an interesting watch, feels S Saraswathi.
Kaaka Muttai fame director M Manikandan is back with a crime thriller interestingly titled Kutrame Thandanai (crime itself is a punishment).
The film had its premiere at the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) and has since been screened successfully at various international film festivals.
Actor Vidharth, whose brothers have produced the film, plays the lead role supported by Pooja Devariya, Aishwarya Rajesh, Guru Somasundaram and veteran actor Nassar.
Manikandan’s tale revolves around the premise that a guilty conscience will eat away your soul despite escaping from the long hands of the law. Ravichandran (Vidharth), who plays the protagonist, belongs to a lower middle class family and works with the credit cards collection division.
Life is a continuous struggle and gets worse when he realises that he has a more serious issue to deal with. His eyesight is deteriorating rapidly and he needs surgery immediately.
He is in desperate need for some money but there is no one to help him out.
It is at this juncture that Ravi accidentally becomes a witness to a crime. Swetha (Aishwarya Rajesh), a young girl who stays in the opposite flat, is killed and Ravi notices some strange activity in her house on the day of her murder.
How this situation tempts him to go down the wrong path, while believing it is for the right cause forms the rest of the story.
Even with a run time of just under 100 minutes, the film lags, but does manage to keep you hooked throughout. The director has kept the narration simple without any unnecessary drama and both - the situations and the characters - appear real.
But with the focus being entirely on the hero’s perspective, the anger and frustration of the others involved is diluted, reducing the intensity of the plot.
None of the performances stand out. Veteran actor Nassar, who plays Ravi’s friend and confidant gives a decent performance. Guru Somasundaram, who impressed everyone with his brilliant acting in the recently released film Joker, is absolutely wasted in a miniscule role.
Even the female leads - Pooja Devariya and Aishwarya Rajesh - have little to do.
Unfortunately Vidharth, around whom the entire film revolves, gives a rather lackluster performance.
None of the songs mar the flow of narration and the subtle background score by maestro Ilayaraja is a big plus for the film. Equally brilliant is the camerawork by director Manikandan himself.
Vidharth suffers from tunnel vision in the film and the scenes from his perspective are shot without the peripheral environment, retaining only the central vision which gives a distinct character to the film.
Despite the ordinary performances, the gripping plot, engaging screenplay and care to technical details make director Manikandan’s Kutrame Thandanai an interesting watch.