Kadaikutty Singam movie review: Karthi’s film is a messy family affair
Kadaikutty Singham becomes too much to deal with and instead of showing a family idyll, the film seems to be advocating the exact opposite.Updated: Jul 13, 2018 14:26 IST
Cast: Karthi, Sayyeshaa, Soori, Sathyaraj, Priya Bhavani Shankar
Indian films have traditionally celebrated the great Indian family. Kadaikkutty Singam -- starring Karthi and Sayyeshaa – is that rare film that aims to euthanize the family but instead underlines that personal choice is subsumed by the greater will when it comes to being part of one.
Karthi plays the role of Guna Singam, the only son of one of the most respectable men in the village, Rana Singhm played by Sathyaraj. Rana Singam has two wives who are also sisters, played by Viji Chandrasekhar and Bhanu Priya, who gave birth to five daughters. But Rana Singam wanted a son and marries the second sister in hope of begetting a son. Rana Singam tries to explain the sexism by telling his daughter that the girls would need a knight in shining armour -- their brother -- in the future.
If we were to keep this instance aside, the film also touches upon the practice that is prevalent in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, to arrange the marriage between a girl and her maternal uncle. Guna has two nieces - played by Priya Bhavani Shankar as Chellama and Arthana Binu as Andal - who have been dreaming about getting married to him. Even the adults in the house encourage the girls. So when Karthi decides not to concede to his family’s demands and ends up falling in love with Sayyeshaa, things do not go well for him at all.
The family splits after his decision. Sayyessha’s maternal uncle, who also happens to be Karthi’s classmate from when they were young, doesn’t want the young couple to get together and manipulates Guna’s brothers-in-law into breaking them up.
And this is where Indian cinema’s bias to present ‘family sentiment – a sure shot formula to get the family audiences to the theatres – comes in. However, in Kadaikutty Singham, the bias becomes too much to deal with and instead of showing a family idyll, the film seems to be advocating the exact opposite.
And then, there is the problem of the film trying to cram in too many messages and not presenting any of them with conviction. Karthi gives a speech about how noble a profession farming is, something that the film’s trailer also sold, but in the film it feels nothing more than lip service. Similarly, honour killing is touched on but the film never really makes a statement.
Kadaikutty Singham is a film that set out to explore the dynamics of a joint family in a rural village in Tamil Nadu, but ended up becoming a messy affair that tried to do it all.
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First Published: Jul 13, 2018 14:20 IST