Cast: Mu Ramasamy, Naga Vishal, Yog Jepee
KD (A) Karuppu Durai chiseled by Madhumitha has made it to several international festivals and won Best Director award for her when it was premiered at London’s UKAFF before its theatrical release in India.
Karuppu Durai is a well-crafted feel-good film that initially begins on a weary note. Written and directed by Madhumitha, there’s a lot at stake here in this emotional drama: new faces, no real star power, and a fresh script that needs to fight against the commercial odds of making money. Surprisingly, it works since the writing and the acting are all executed brilliantly.
There are two primary characters, an old man Karuppu Durai (Mu Ramasamy) who’s towards the last days of his life and a young boy Kutty (Naga Vishal) who’s a street-smart orphan with likable traits to his name. Karuppu has family, land, and house, but he’s in a coma and his children have decided to get him mercy killed in order to put things to rest. In a lucky break, he comes out of the coma and finding out his family's plans to kill him by performing an ancient euthanasia ritual called Thalaikoothal, runs away from home and comes across Kutty, where the relationship starts.
Sharing a common bond of not really having any family to rely on, Kutty brings out the brighter side of Karuppu like never seen before. The duo is on a journey, and there’s a big to-do list to accomplish! Karuppu is the natural father (or grandfather) that Kutty has never had. And they meet a set of curious people on their way, renewing the old man’s faith in humanity once again. Of course, given the advanced stage, the duo would have to part ways pretty soon but even that is handled with a lightness that avoids much melodrama.
Madhumitha has done a splendid job in keeping it simple and letting the players on screen and the technical crews do their job. And, Madhu’s apt casting of real life people contributes majorly to the lively narration. Mu Ramasamy’s character has a very physical presence. The acting is in the weakness and the expressions. Naga Vishal as his companion is mature well beyond his age, and his orphaned background makes that believable. He is so natural and sweeps you off with his There are just so many nostalgic and feel-good moments that warm your heart, like Karuppu’s recalling of his first school crush with Valli (Vijayalakshmi) or the way he eats his favorite biriyani. Sabarivaasan Shanmugam dialogues add big strength. Sample- one day, Karuppu Durai goes emotional thinking about his family deserting him. Kutty consoles him saying, “Unnaiyaavadhu ippo vendaam nu sonnanga. Enna laam porandhappove”
Meyyendiran Kempuraj cinematography and Karthikeya Murth’s music are the major plus that aids the flow of the proceedings.
Overall, Karuppu Durai is the visual experience of reading an engrossing novel. A fabulous rural coming of age flick that should not be missed!...