Kathiruppor Pattiyal Review: A comedy that works in parts
A half-baked light hearted comedy drama about a bunch of people who get caught by a railway policeman
The introduction of Aruldoss as Williams in Kathiruppor Pattiyal pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the film. His bike tyre needs replacement and he takes it to his regular mechanic but midway through the procedure, another person lands up at the shop and the mechanic jumps from Williams’ bike to the new customer’s. The reason? The second customer is a traffic policeman whose bike needs to be repaired immediately because if he does not go to his job, then the city’s traffic comes to a standstill, whereas Williams is after all just a railway policeman and trains don’t have pressing traffic issues to deal with. This is the kind of slight that Williams has to bear day in and day out. No one ever takes the railway police seriously and this lack of respect pushes him over the edge and makes him jump on offenders for the slightest infractions.
Cast: Sachin Mani, Nandthitha Swetha, Aruldoss, Arunraja Kamaraj, Manobala
Director: Balaiya D Rajasekhar
Balaiya D Rajsekhar, the film’s writer and director, maintains a light-hearted approach throughout the runtime. And to his credit, it works for most of the time. The film opens with a monologue delivered by Vijay Sethupathi and eventually takes us to a dingy jail, where we are treated to an audacious cocktail of satire and Hitchcockian elements. There is a bomb threat that is announced just before the interval and each of the offenders in the jail, who have finished narrating their backstories by then, is a suspect. The catch is these stories are so shallow that there is a chance that every single one of them could be the actual threat. While such writing might not work for most films, it works here because of the genre. Manobala is a sex doctor, a largely underwhelming role we have seen him in countless times before, but which is carried with aplomb here. The scene stealer though is Arunraja Kamaraj as Kutti puli, the head of a fans association of Edhartha Naayagan Sasikumar. Every single Sasikumar reference that is either delivered by him or is centred around him, lands perfectly.
If there is one thing that is completely underwhelming, it is the romance angle between the leads, Sathya (Sachin Mani) and Megala (Nandita Swetha). For a film that has an underlying theme of respect that each character is chasing after in one way or another, the problem here is Sathya’s utter lack of respect for both Megala and his own love for her. She is a call centre employee who is treated like trash by Sathya for three days, and later she returns the favour. He then tries to one-up her, but ends up falling in love with her after pursuing her for months, much to her disgust. Guess what the clincher is for her falling in love with him... An obituary for Megala. Go figure.
Sean Roldan’s background score is the kind of quirkiness we have come to associate with most new age director-music director combos, especially in comedies. His songs, just a couple, do work, and they are good to listen to. But much like the film, his score outlasts its welcome quite early. The second half of the film is a mess of ideas that don’t come together, even while you end up on a waiting list looking forward to the end credits rolling.