Arun Vijay is back as the lead in a Tamil film after a gap of almost five years. The actor has starred in 20+ movies in a career spanning two decades. Though his attempts have been consistent and sincere, success has mostly eluded him. The character, Victor, which he played in Yennai Arindhaal became quite popular in the Southern film industries. He went on to sport a similar hairstyle and carried on his body language from Yennai Arindhaal to the Telugu film,Bruce Lee, and the Kannada film, Chakravyuha, for his antagonist-roles.
In Kuttram 23, he plays an Assistant Commissioner. The camera doesn’t miss a single opportune moment for it to zoom-in on Arun’s biceps. We have no other option but to buy him as a police officer who knows his job pretty well. And for the most part, he does a decent job. I use the word ‘decent’ because there’s nothing really off-putting in his performance. When he flirts with a neighbor, who becomes his girlfriend later, there’s a slight sense of romantic comedy; and when he slaps her an hour-and-ten-minutes into the film in the midst of a tension-upping scene, he does it as he's hurt by her remarks.
As I unspool the narrative, I realize that Arun’s character, Vetrimaaran, is neatly done. However, Mahima Nambiar’s character is totally unrequired. This is where the 70-day old film, Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru, stands tall. In D-16, unnecessary characters were absent and so were the songs.
The one prime thing that irritated me to heavens was the camera work. Making a style statement with over the shoulder shots is passé. Those shots consume half the screen. Then why should the cinematographer go for it?
The colors are all grey on the screen as the movie itself is populated with characters that live in the realms of grey shades. That way, it stays true to the genre. Now that I’ve barfed the things that don’t follow the rhythm of the thriller, I’ll give you the sunny side of the movie.
There aren’t many crime thrillers in Indian cinema that deal with medical science. Now, we can add Kuttram 23 in that category. The central plot makes us wonder about Indians’ idiosyncrasies. In our ‘culture’, women are asked two main questions by parents and in-laws:
1. When are you getting married?
2. When are you giving us a grandchild?
As soon as a woman gets married, her relatives hound her until she answers them in the affirmative. I recently saw a meme which described the situation of women in our country aptly.
The words in the meme are true. It does make for a LOL moment, yet the harshness is too real for us to ignore the 'fact'.
The film raises these poignant points, and for these alone, I’ll forgive the preachy climax. Even then, I don’t understand the need for the hero to bash up the villain (Vamsi Krishna) in the end when the film has already revealed the cause and the effect of the crime in a thrilling monologue (by Aravind Akash, who plays Vamsi’s aide).
If Arun Vijay chooses the right scripts for his screen outings, he’ll definitely make a fine mark in a separate league. While bigwigs like Ajith and Vijay break innumerable bones and do unbelievable things on-screen, the stunts Arun performs look real (I’m referring to Yennai Arindhaal again; and his latest release). I hope the actor retains his mojo for a long time.
Watch Fully Filmy's 2 minute review for Kuttram 23 here -
Written by - Karthik Keramalu