Putham Pudhu Kaalai Vidiyaadhaa review: Amazon Prime anthology is a refreshing take on relationships during lockdown
- Putham Pudhu Kaalai Vidiyaadhaa review: Madhumita’s Mouname Paarvayaai, featuring Nadiya and Joju George, has to be the pick of the lot.
Putham Pudhu Kaalai Vidiyaadhaa, Amazon Prime’s second anthology set around the pandemic, offers a refreshing look at life and relationships during lockdown. While not all the stories leave the desired impact, the anthology is still wholesomely satisfying. When compared to the previous edition of the anthology, we get stories that are more complete and relatable in the new one. The choice to opt for a fairly younger cast, with a few surprise options such as Nadiya Moidu and Joju George, has worked strongly in favour of it.
The first short – Balaji Mohan’s Mugakavasa Mutham - follows two police constables, Murugan and Kuyili, who like each other. As part of their duty posting, they meet regularly and slowly start expressing their feelings for each other. When Kuyili gets posted to another location on duty, they start missing each other’s company. Just when they begin to feel the pinch of each other’s absence, a young man comes seeking their assistance – he asks them to help stop his girlfriend being coerced into an arranged marriage. As Murugan and Kuyili try their best to stop the wedding and help the girl elope with her boyfriend, they get closer in the process.
This is one of the cutest stories of the anthology - to explore love between two young cops in the most uncommon places is something to cheer for. Teejay and Gouri, as the lead actors, are terrific and they perform earnestly to make their characters and performances real and believable. Their chemistry makes the whole segment come to life.
Halitha Shameem’s Loners shines the spotlight on the need to be loved and cared for, especially during the pandemic. The segment follows the story of, Nallathangal (Nalla), who is a loner. She recently ended her relationship with her boyfriend and is now stuck inside her apartment. She finds it extremely difficult to stay indoors and hence, joins an online video room called ‘Loners in Lockdown’. This is where she chances upon Dheeran, whom she had met previously in another video room. Dheeran is coping from the loss of his close friend due to Covid-19, and is broken from inside. Both Nalla and Dheeran get talking and heal each other in the process.
Halitha continues to give us stories that touch all the right chords. Loners emphasises on the importance of opening up and caring without getting judgemental. The lead actors, Lijomol Jose and Arjun Das, play their respective parts so convincingly that we feel for their broken hearts.
Madhumita’s Mouname Paarvayaai, featuring Nadiya and Joju George, has to be the pick of the lot. It explores the bond between an older couple, husband Murali and wife Yashoda, who haven’t spoken to each other in a while due to a major fight. What really makes this story stand out is that the characters barely utter any words but seamlessly convey what they mean for each other to the viewers. This short beautifully explores what it is to really care for someone without actually expressing it through words. Both Nadiya and Joju George are unbelievably effortless in this segment.
Surya Krishna’s The Mask is a simple tale of friendship between two schoolmates Arjun and Velu, who reunite during the pandemic after years. Arjun is an IT professional and he’s been guarding a secret for many years – he is gay and has been struggling to come out to his parents. When he meets Velu after a long time, he earns the courage to deal with his situation. Though the segment opts for a very convenient ending to make its point, it deserves to be lauded for touching upon a sensitive issue. Dhilip Subbarayan walks away with all the brownie points for his neat performance in this short. His is a very unique casting choice, which has worked out quite well.
Richard Antony’s Nizhal Tharum Idham follows the story of a woman in her thirties, Shobi, played by Aishwarya Lekshmi, who finds out that her dad died after suffering a heart attack. This segment is all about dealing with grief and finding purpose to continue living life. This story is a straightforward approach to coping with loss, and Aishwarya is terrific as Shobi, who tries to take control of her life.
Putham Pudhu Kaalai Vidiyaadhaa
Directors: Balaji Mohan, Madhumita, Halitha Shameem, Richard Antony and Surya Krishna.
Cast: Teejay Arunasalam, Gouri Kishan, Lijomol Jose, Arjun Das, Nadiya Moidu, Joju George, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Nirmal Pillai, Sananth and Dhilip Subbarayan.