Vijay Sethupathi always has had a surprise up his sleeve with his experimental roles in his earlier movies like Soodhu Kavvum, where he played a 40 year old kidnapper with grey hair, and in the recent Purampokku Enum Podhuvudamai where he essayed a hangman. Having the knack of choosing quirky scripts, Sethupathi returns with yet another intriguing film Orange Mittai where he portrays a 55 year old cantankerous and highly ego-centric man Kailasam living alone in an old depilated mansion in a remote village. Apart from the film being Sethupathi’s first production venture, the story and dialogues are also co-credited to the actor.
Sathya (Ramesh Thilak) and Arumugham (Aaru Bala) are friends who work in an ambulance. While the former is a paramedic who gives first-aid to patients in the ambulance, the latter is the vehicle’s driver. Sathya is sincere and loves his profession. He goes through a hard time in his personal front after having lost his father a year ago, whom he never cared for and which he now regrets. His girlfriend Kavya’s (Ashritha) dad insists that he leave his poorly paid job and take up one of his businesses to get his daughter married.
One day, the duo receives an emergency call from Kailasam who claims that he is suffering from cardiac problems and needs to be picked up to the hospital. As the trio begin their journey in the ambulance, Kailasam’s cranky and obstinate behavior annoys Sathya and Aarumugham and the rest is about how the journey turns out to be a roller-coaster ride.
Vijay Sethupathi proves his mettle once again in an unconventional role with his power packed performance. The actor who goes to any extent to give that extra edge to his characters is no different in Orange Mittai. With his apt makeup - a greasy hair with grey beard, thick spectacles, discolored teeth, a slight paunch, fondness for orange candy and body language, the actor delivers big time. Ramesh Thilak is equally impressive and given a notable performance. Aaru Bala plays an effective foil to him. Ashritha has limited screen space. Director Biju who has also taken the onus of cinematography and editing has done a splendid job in both departments. The film wraps up quickly with a running time of just 1 hour 40 minutes. However, though Biju starts off interestingly and the subtle humor is enjoyable, it loses its steam midway when the film meanders to the segment of father son relationship. A taut screenplay with more solid dialogues would have taken the film to next level.