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Review of Soodhu Kavvum, a 2013 Tamil Film Starring Vijay Sethupathi, Sanchita Shetty

GRADE: AA / 90%
Soodhu Kuvoom is a dark comedy built on themes of unemployment, kidnapping, blackmailing, police brutality, fake encounter and corruption but not even for a split second does it forget that it is first and foremost a dark comedy, and never it its manic energy lost or its comedy sacrificed while handling its heavyweight themes. The film never breaks its basic rules, and even when you feel at moments that it may go off-course, the story ingeniously swerves to its original course. Take for instance a scene from the movie when the four lead characters are arrested on charges of kidnapping and taken to court; that’s when you go “Oh no, now they’re going to spend the rest of the hour turning the film into a silly courtroom drama” but no, that’s when Soodhu Kuvoom hilariously reminds us that it won’t break its fundaments, and that is to be a rip-roaring dark comedy.

So, in a humorous twist, the ‘victim’ (who’s actually the mastermind’ who fakes his kidnapping, is actually kidnapped, connives with his kidnappers, then gives them a slip) denies that the four kidnapped him and the case is dismissed immediately. The tone of the film is both consistent and cautious, never forgetting how it should be presented yet driving its message home superbly. Bollywood films usually have a tendency to forget very easily the original tone of their projects – a film that’s extremely funny till interval will abruptly turn into a cloying melodrama post-interval to cater to sentimental audiences, and sensible audiences are left thinking “Hey wait, wasn’t I watching a comedy before I headed to the restroom during the intermission? Did the filmmakers flush it down the toilet to fart out a silly melodrama suddenly?”. Maybe Bollywood could take a few lessons from Tamil films like Soodhu Kuvoom and get it’s sh*t together.

 

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