Movie : Kuttipuli
Banner: Village Theatres
Cast: Sasikumar, Lakshmi Menon
Synopsis: An angry young man manages to put off his mother’s attempts to reform him. Until, the new girl in his neighbourhood gets attracted to him… But, can his violent past leave him in peace?
Movie Review: Kutti Puli (Sasikumar) is a do-gooder with a roguish streak and his attitude often lands him in trouble. His mother (Saranya) wants him to mend his ways and get married but Puli thwarts all her plans. Enter Bharathi ( Lakshmi Menon), who falls in love with Puli seeing his ever-helpful nature. Meanwhile, Moorthy, a local gangster is humiliated by Puli and now, he wants revenge.
M Muthaiah’s Kutti Puli has everything we have seen in Sasikumar’s films so far. A story set somewhere in Madurai. A brash but benevolent hero. A comely heroine. Romance in the bylanes. Montages with yesteryear songs. Preachy punch dialogues. And, most importantly, the aruva (sickle) which has come to define his films. But, unlike in his previous films, these elements don’t come together as a whole. Those films used all these Sasikumar-isms but still managed to keep us engaged. Here, they stick out as the director is unable to weave a plot that brings them together in a satisfying manner. So, one moment you have a scene between Kutti Puli and his mom, the next with Bharathi followed by a scene with Moorthy. And, this pattern goes on a loop until the very end.
The film begins with a back story involving Kutti Puli’s dad and the plot is actually about how his death influences the mother, her son and their relationship. But the diversions this story takes never lets us to engage with this angle. It should have been quite easy given that the director has two actors who are typecast in roles that should have endeared them instantly to us. You sense a laziness in scripting that is shocking because this is the debut film for Muthaiah.
There are a few moments that do work like the effortless companionship of Saranya and her neighbour Rama Prabha and their trip to the town to give a makeover to Kutti Puli is genuinely funny. The same cannot be said of the comedy track involving Pappu and his gang, who are the educated youth in the place and vie for Bharathi, which goes on and on in the second half. Muthiah also goes overboard with the melodrama and in his use of older songs to evoke a lighter mood and all these unnecessary padding, especially towards the end, make this Kutti Puli as fierce as a stuffed tiger.