Director: Sakthi Sounder Rajan
Cast: Jayam Ravi, Lakshmi Menon
Miruthan, as described in the promos and trailers leading up to it, is possibly the first ever Zombie film to be made in Tamil. Starring Jayam Ravi, Lakshmi Menon and directed by Shakthi Sounder Rajan, the movie really induces the thrills and shrills with its gory, adrenaline filled fight fest, but this comes at the cost of derailing the story and the plot.
In the movie, Karthik (Jayam Ravi) plays a traffic cop in Ooty. A virus outbreak suddenly leaves the hilly town in dire straits. Like the rats in Albert Camus’ La Peste, the pests have once again risen to haunt the pastoral getaway and threaten to wipe out the populace in the most obscene and callous way that only viruses and zombies can. And into this predicament lands Karthik and his baby sister, Vidya (Baby Anikha). How does he deal with this? Does he have the nerve and the strength to withstand the horror that is spreading quickly? Well, watch to find out! Then there’s this Renu (Lkashmi Menon) a doctor with whom Karthik falls in love one-sidedly.
It is often the case that conflict is what produces clarity and moral clarity arises when what you love is pitted against what you hate. Jayam Ravi as the honest and unassuming traffic cop plays to this moral compass exceedingly well. He goes out on a limb to rescue loved ones and strangers alike. His persona is beefy and full of life - even after having close shaves with zombies! Experience really does pay, and Ravi showcases his full range in Miruthan. Lakshmi Menon’s role as a doctor thankfully saves her from trivialities, providing a degree of solidity. Kaali Venkat as Ravi’s tag-along brings in some relief from time to time.
Miruthan is for the most part, a horror film. By showcasing all this gore and terror, the director makes it clear that this isn’t purely a light-hearted family entertainer. And of course, kudos to the VFX team for this. The amount of work that goes into the graphics and effects is on par, if not more, with other important technical departments. But logic goes for a toss at several places. The repeated assault of the zombies is annoying to watch.
The music for the large part is background-ish and atmospheric, as per the demands of a zombie film. Imman has done a decent job in this regard. Other elements such as the cameras and the lighting help build the make-believe factor.
Still, it’s hard to tell how Miruthan will go down. For predominantly Tamil audiences who haven’t really seen such a flick before, Miruthan might still just be a mild curiosity with a potential to spark greater interest in the genre. And for the sensitized, reality-based Tamil filmgoer, Miruthan can come across as mildly appalling due to all the gore and non-stop violence. In the end, when one is exploring new territories, it is extremely difficult to predict how things would pan out. Director Shakthi Sounder Rajan deserves credit for taking the plunge into the unknown.