AZHAGARSAMIYIN KUDHIRAI MOVIE REVIEW
Cast: Appukutty, Saranya Mohan, Suri
Producion: P. Madhan
Cinematography: Theni Eashwar
Editing: Kasi Vishwanathan
Suseenthiran, who has impressed with his first two films (Vennizha Kabadi Kuzhu and Naan Mahaan Alla) in two different genres, has once again delivered a stuff that could add value to his image as a filmmaker looking to make meaningful films. His latest offering Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai’ (ASK) is a simple and straightforward story that touches the heart of the viewer. Ilayaraja’s soulful music adds immense value to the film.
The story is set in 1982. Mallaipuram village near Theni gears up for the local temple festival with a lot of hope that the perfectly performed Thiruvizha to Lord Azhagar would bring prosperous to the village suffering from poverty thanks to the failure of monsoon. The major part of the festival is to take the deity around the village on a wooden horse.
The whole village is in for a shock when one fine day they find the wooden horse goes missing. They seek help from a clairvoyant from Kerala who after lot of rituals ‘finds’ the horse. But the horse they get is a real one instead of the wooden horse. But the clairvoyant makes the innocent villagers believe that this is the wooden horse has come alive because of the blessings of the God.
Trouble comes in the form of a man from Azhagarsami (Appukutty) just when the villagers restart the festival process with a renowned zeal. Azhagarsami a young man from neighbouring village claims that it is his missing horse. The villagers violently deny him the horse since they depend on it so much to conduct the festival, which in turn could bring prosperous.
But Azhagarsami too is adamant, as his livelihood and marriage to the beautiful Rani (Saranya Mohan) depend on the horse. The police intervene and the compromise formula is to give the horse to Azhagarsami after the completion of the festival.
The climax tells you the way the festival is completed and the fate of the horse and its master.
Suseenthiran has opted for a simple and straightforward story and a neat script to tell the story. The way he interwoven the intricacies of the power structure of the village, the clash between rationalism and devotion, and the way the police behave. The portrayal of preparing to the festival has been quite colourful with all its nuances. The way the drama over the missing horse and the festival unfolds is a treat to watch.
The way the character of Appukutty is etched is quite good.
Apart from the director, Bhaskar Sakthi (story and screenplay writer) and music director Ilayaraja are the major assets of the film. Bhaskar’s story is fresh and his dialogues are very effective and realistic.
Ilayaraja has given a classic touch to the realistic and emotional narrative with his soulful music. Apart from the hummable tunes, his background score is amazing in many sequences.
No one would have forgotten the famous Parotta scene in Venila Kabadi Kuzhu. Suseenthiran has recreated the magic with a small boy here. The village has been captured pleasantly by Theni Easwar.
The main flaw of the movie is the sluggish pace in the first half. Too much ridiculing with the clairvoyants doesn’t help the narrative either.
The casting is perfect. Appukkutti as Azhagarsami has lived the character. Saranya Mohan in a small but effective role impresses with her pleasant appearance and expressing eyes. Suri as a cop in disguise is hilarious though his character goes overboard at time.
ASK is a realistic and pleasant experience on screen thanks to the honest approach of the director and story writer. It stresses the value of goodness without sound preaching.
ASK – Realistic and heartening.