Kuruthi Aattam – Some interesting character conflicts but that’s about it!
Kuruthi Aattam starts off like a template film. We get to see the bad guys, then the heroine and then the hero. A horde of characters are introduced within a very short span of time. Nothing is really off till now. But nothing really makes you sit up as well. Given that this is the second film from the maker of 8 Thottakkal, this is a little surprising. What started off like a template film keeps traveling like that. A template film isn’t necessarily something that is inferior. In fact, keeping you interested despite being in a similar terrain is probably more difficult.
Some half hour into Kuruthi Aattam and we get something that piques a bit of interest. An unlikely friendship develops between two characters and the film does pick up some momentum from here. The treatment is still quite generic but now we have some genuine conflicts that begin to brew. All the characters that were introduced, now start fitting into the overall scheme of things. To Sri Ganesh’s credit, he has written characters with conflicts and the decisions that these characters have to take, matters in the overall picture. But on screen, these emotions are not fleshed out enough, for us to be completely invested in them. There aren’t enough scenes to establish the emotions effectively or to put it more correctly, the scenes that are there to establish these emotions aren’t allowed to breathe. The film keeps jumping between its various characters and their conflicts. The friendship between Sakthi (Atharva) and Muthu (Kanna Ravi) and the character played by Vinod Sagar, who is put in a moral dilemma, are two aspects that work to an extent. Kanna Ravi and Vinod Sagar are really good and make their characters work. But the same cannot be said about the other tracks and conflicts. Radhika Sarathkumar plays the dreaded Gandhimathi. The character is supposed to be all powerful but we hardly see her taking a smart decision. She believes anything and everything that characters have to say to her. Vatsan Chakravarthy plays an egoistic hitman. But the battle between him and Sakthi is poorly etched out. For someone who is supposed to be egoistic, he is happy to attack Sakthi by hiding in a crowd.
For generic or template films to work, you need certain moments that stand out. Even if these moments are predictable, something about them needs to give you a high. It could be the performance, a rousing BGM, a nice and slow build up to a heroic moment or a superbly choreographed action sequence. Sadly, this is where Kuruthi Aattam really falls short. There is a Thiruvizha scene where some tension is built and then there is a chase sequence before the interval. The film needed more such stretches. Even in the pre-interval stretch, the potential is not fully realized. An important character is stabbed and the immediate next second, you have the hero running angrily with a loud BGM. Maybe the delay of the film’s release has also contributed to few aspects feeling a bit outdated but that probably is not the sole reason. I kept wondering if the film might have benefitted if Sri Ganesh went all out and even made an over-the-top hero glorifying action vehicle. Now it comes across as a film that wants to cater to the masses but there is also an intent to restrain itself and be more grounded. This reflects in the action sequences as well. It becomes a ‘neither here nor there’ scenario. I am still shocked about how the little twist in the climax was handled. Elaborate CG (similar to how Ambi becomes Anniyan) is employed to show how information was transmitted from one mobile to another between two persons who are in the same vicinity!
Sri Ganesh probably wanted to make an emotional action film. The emotions do work at least to an extent but the action never gives you the adrenaline rush that it ought to have. Considering the fact that this is a film made by someone who made 8 Thottakkal, Kuruthi Aattam is definitely a bit disappointing, to put it mildly. Otherwise, it is a generic film that remains watchable but one that becomes tiring by the end.