CAST: Vishnu, Nandita, Kaali, Ramadoss
DIRECTION: Ram Kumar
They say that a tragedy today is bound to be a comedy tomorrow – an unfortunate incident, a set of beliefs to explain that incident, and the culture of fear and superstition that this broods are all probable misnomers that we all will look back at and have a mighty laugh. Take it a step further by adding situational comedy to an initial tragedy and what we have is a film that succeeds in many levels with the possible muse of timing and pacing.
Written and directed by Ram Kumar, Mundasupatti is a movie where a weapon of mass distraction turns out to be instead perceived as destruction. It’s the late 1940s and a British man visits the village of Mundasupatti with the intention of photographing its natural setting and scenic beauty. Some of the adventurous inhabitants of the village get captured on film as well – an incident that coincides with an epidemic that leaves numerous deceased. The villagers thus end up associating the camera with this dreaded incident, forming irrational fears and superstitions in the process.
Pedal forward to the early 1980s and the superstition still remains – the villagers place high reverence on a meteorite and the camera is instead reserved for the dead. With such a state of affairs, Gopi (Vishnu), a promising photographer and his assistant Azhagu Mani (Kaali Ventat) are on a goal to click things strait in the village. They own a studio named Hollywood Studios in the adjacent Sathyamangalam and the games thus commence. In the process, Gopi falls in love with the daughter Kalaivani (Nandita) of the village chief, and what follows is a moderately funny affair that depends highly on timing of the dialogues and a concatenation of circumstances.
Vishnu does an estimable job as the protagonist and has very good chemistry with the script. Kaali Venkat’s remarks and delivery complete and complement him very well, and the duo posses an understanding almost inimitable in its style. There are notable cameos from the villagers as well. Newcomer Ramadoss as Muneeshkanth sees possible opportunities through Gopi and Azhagu and decides to offer his talent to them. Having little clue of the bigger picture, he plays the innocent opportunist with noticeable ease.
Although the audience apprehend the scenes to unfold, Ramadoss’s presence puts them on a backseat and makes the tension a distinctly pleasurable aspect of the film. And Nandita as the simple village girl fits the bill. The other standout of the film was Sean Roldan’s background and music. His catchy but affectionate songs fit very well with the clayey tones of the film – which is to say that they mould and reshape the landscape in lieu with the plot.
Location: Tamil Nadu