Kutty Story movie review: Anthology with quirky ideas but problematic execution
- Kutty Story is a cocktail of love stories with some quirky twists. Except for Nalan’s refreshing short on male insecurity in a marriage, other shorts come across as promising but never work wholesomely.
Director: Gautham Menon, Vijay, Venkat Prabhu and Nalan Kumaraswamy
Cast: Amala Paul, Gautham Menon, Vinoth Kishan, Megha Akash, Amitash Pradhan, Sakshi Aggarwal, Sangeetha, Aditi Balan and Vijay Sethupathi
It suddenly feels like the season of anthologies. After Putham Pudhu Kaalai and Paava Kadhaigal, Kutty Story is the latest anthology to come out of Tamil cinema. It’s also the first Tamil anthology film featuring four directors to release in cinemas. Headlined by some really popular Tamil filmmakers such as Gautham Menon, Vijay, Venkat Prabhu and Nalan Kumaraswamy, Kutty Story is a cocktail of love stories with some quirky twists. Except for Nalan’s refreshing short on male insecurity in a marriage, other shorts come across as promising but never work wholesomely.
Gautham Menon’s short talks about platonic relationships. Throughout the course of the short, we hear dialogues like a man and a woman can never be friends. The story is centered on Adhi (Vinoth) and Mrinalini (Amala Paul) who’ve been friends for the longest time but they’ve shared one intimate moment many years ago. Adhi continues to believe that he and Mrinalini have always maintained a platonic relationship and have been well aware of the invisible line that differentiates friendship and love. However, many years later, both of them realize they had feelings for each other but it’s too late to do anything about it.
If there’s one Tamil filmmaker who has championed the urban romance space, it is undoubtedly Gautham Menon. His mature take on platonic relationship – which is rarely discussed at length in Tamil cinema – deserves praise and he extracts beautiful performances from his lead cast, especially from Amala Paul. But Gautham’s effort to commercialize the story with the help of Robo Shankar’s comedy is probably why the short is problematic. Gautham preempts audiences’ reaction and conveys it through the scenes featuring Robo Shankar, who jokes about how a boy can kiss a girl on her cheek when they’re having an intimate moment and not take it all the way. These scenes take away all the sensibility out of Gautham’s intent to talk maturely about platonic relationships and it gets flat-out annoying after a point.
Vijay’s short about unplanned pregnancy could’ve been handled in a better way. To some extent the story takes a mature stand on the topic but the ending is a major disappointment. It leaves one confused about the filmmaker’s stand on pregnancy and abortion. The short feature Amitash and Megha Akash in the lead and it’s the latter who impresses here.
Venkat Prabhu’s short is about two avid gamers who fall in love without seeing each other. It’s easily the most creative idea of the lot, and it makes for an interesting watch. It features extensive footage of gaming animation, and we see two characters bonding over a game. The exciting premise doesn’t translate into an engaging story with characters worth rooting. The twist in the climax is slightly underwhelming, too.
Nalan Kumarswamy’s short about a couple during the pandemic is easily the best segment of the anthology. It talks about male insecurity when a husband, who is confronted by his wife for cheating on her, learns that she has cheated on him many years ago. The short talks about the element of sanctity in a marriage and how it applies to both husband and the wife. Nalan takes a very bold approach but his treatment is light-hearted, as it leaves one chuckling away right till the end. The Nalan – Vijay Sethupathi combination clicks once again and it’s refreshing to see the filmmaker spring back in action after a long hiatus.