Karuppan movie review
Director Panneerselvam gave 'Renigunta', easily one of the best films in recent years and his combining with the current crowd pleaser Vijay Sethupathi automatically raises expectations for 'Karuppan'. Does the film deliver?Karuppan (Vijay Sethupathi) is a village ruffian with a heart of gold living with his mentally challenged mother (Renuka).
A famed bullfighter, Karuppan is challenged by Mayee (Pasupathi) to best his bull and the hero’s friends taunt him into announcing his beloved sister Anbu (Tanya Ravichandran) as the trophy. Karuppan wins and gets married to Anbu much to the chagrin of Kathir (Bobby Simha) the brother in law of Mayee who is silently in love with the girl.
The rest of the screenplay deals with how Anbu takes a liking for her husband and reforms him and whether the couple survive the evil machinations of Kathir.
Vijay Sethupathi as Karuppan has once again given a solid performance and excels in the scenes where he shows love to his mother, falls head over heels for his wife and at the hospital when he comes to know that he has become a father of twins. He has also put in a lot of effort in the bullfighting sequences as well as all the fights.
It’s a great comeback for Bobby Simha who spits venom as the scheming relative of the heroine and is very convincing in his pretentious friendship with Vijay Sethupathi and the minute change in expressions in every scene to convey what goes on in his mind.
Tanya Ravichandran has got a meaty and mature role and has done full justice to it as a headstrong rural girl bent on living her chosen life with dignity. The fact that she holds her own against Vijay Sethupathi frame to frame is evidence of her talent. In short, without little help from the writing the actors have risen above it to give a convincing performance. Seasoned actors Pasupathy and Singam Puli have their own scenes to prove their mettle while yesteryear leading lady Kaveri makes a comeback as well.
The film is loaded with sentiments like the Pasupathy and Tanya brother sister bonding, the husband and wife VJS-Tanya, Mother and son VJS-Renuka, Uncle and nephew VJS-Singampuli and Bobby Simha ‘s obsessive love for Tanya. It’s a bit old fashioned and a section of the audience is sure to warm up to it.
On the downside all the characters, including Vijay Sethupathi’s are badly etched and so most of their behavior is not justified in the screenplay. For example a huge logical loophole is why will the village headman and millionaire Pasupathy give the hand of his loving sister the hero knowing that he is a ruffian and a drunkard. The director easily inserts a shot with Pasupathy explaining that he liked VJS because he didn’t want to marry his sister citing their status divide!!!.
Similarly initially Tanya says she will kill herself if she has to marry the drunkard, but later there is an insert for her also where she cites a flash back in which she sees the hero beat up a man uploading porn to students and that is why she loves him???!!! Tanya’s character shown as a bold girl of substance is totally demolished when she attempts suicide.
Its very clear that the director wants to capitalize on the jallikattu phenomenon and then by making Vijay Sethupathi an instant agriculturist he has also forcefully put in a shout out for farmers. The film could well have been from the Rajkiran era as there are too many regressive scenes like Bobby Simha setting fire to the crops and a loan shark joining hands with him to deal with the hero.For a film set in rural Madurai nativity is absolutely missing and the dialogue delivery of VJS, Bobby and villain Sarath are no help either.
D. Imman is the backbone of 'Karuppan' with all the songs pleasing to the ears and the background score too peps up the proceedings. K.A Sakthivel and V.T. Vijayan have done a neat job with the cinematography and editing. If Panneerselvam took Tamil cinema a step forward with ‘Renigunta’, he has pulled it several steps backward with his latest offering and if not for the acting prowess of his three lead players things could have gone a lot worse.
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