Irandam Kuththu Movie Review: A hideously unfunny and unoriginal fiasco
Irandam Kuththu lacks the necessary horror or comedy elements and resorts to sexual innuendos as the only weapon to tickle your funny bones
An onscreen couple indulges in lovemaking. Sensual music fills the theatre that's occupied predominantly by men, some of whom are visibly ecstatic. The woman onscreen throws a piece of her negligee on a set of lit candles, and the clothing ignites; doing the same to everything that touches it. Unhindered by the fire that's engulfing the room, the couple is busy under the sheets. If you're wondering whether I was watching director Lars von Trier's sequel to his 2009 horror film, Antichrist, I can only wish.
Cast: Santhosh P Jayakumar, Daniel Annie Pope, Karishma Kaul, Akriti Singh, Meenal Sahu
Director: Santhosh P Jayakumar
Irandam Kuththu, the "spiritual sequel" to the 2018 adult comedy horror film, Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuththu, gets you right back to the world of Santhosh's "comedy". Even before the above-mentioned sequence lit up the screen, a gooey liquid, which I hope is a splurge of sanitiser, splashes across the screen as actor Rajendran's voiceover goes, "Condom pottal AIDS ei thadukalam. Mask ei pottal corona vei thadukalam." The film commences with a couple of reiterations of the same double meaning 'podradhu' joke, one that is used way too many times in Santhosh's world, and narrates a story that is all but similar to its predecessor.
A couple of virgin guys (director Santhosh in his acting debut and Daniel Annie Pope) are desperate to shake of that tag. They, along with their newlywed wives (Karishma Kaul and Akriti Singh), rent a huge bungalow that's haunted by a sex-starved ghost (Meenal Sahu) who wants a virgin to satiate her lust. Although it is that woman from the first scene who reincarnates as the ghost, we'll never know why the husband, who also died in the fire, never becomes a ghost with similar affiliations. Logic, in this film, doesn't just take the back seat, but is tied to the boot of the vehicle and dragged along.
In a move that can challenge even the Aranmanai franchise, Santhosh maintains almost all the elements of the first part in this sequel too. Right from touching themselves looking at an erotic painting to awaken a hibernating ghost, to even using the Bigg Boss' "Kaalai, 8 mani" voice, the sequel feels more like a better-budgeted remake of the first film. Most of the leads are relatively new faces, and it is actors like Ravi Mariya, Chaams, Singampuli, Lollu Sabha Swaminathan and Santhosh's constant Rajendran, who add on to the sense of familiarity.
Irandam Kuththu tries to be 'relevant' by introducing its male characters as protestors in a demonstration against the porn ban, along with a man who looks eerily similar to Silambarasan and goes, "Oru nimisham saar" every time a reporter asks something. On the other hand, it's the female lead's introduction that I was pleasantly taken aback by. In one of Karishma Kaul's first scenes, she asks a friend who among two random women having cone ice creams is married. While there is suggestive humour of the you-know-what kind there, there is a clever subversion here. In another scene, she's established as a TV reporter who goes around asking people to name a word that starts with 'F' and ends with 'uck' only to reveal that the word is 'Firetruck'. Though what her participants said is factually right and this "joke" is something that would've graced your Orkut timelines, I, for a moment, thought Santhosh went anti-meta with his work. But then... the rest of the film happened.
The film is a mishmash of a bunch of stealthily forwarded adult jokes. A character does not have palm lines because of frequent self-gratification. The same character, who is shown to grow up with a healthy dose of porn, when told by his wife to wear a condom, puts some over his hands, legs and even on his head. Even a slightly innovative but inspired sketch involving chastity belts ends up as a disappointment. In another scene, two men lick some spilled ketchup off of a topless man's poster and I thought we'd seen the last of ketchup-cringe material in Anbe Aaruyire. The scenes portraying the men's unplanned abstinence reminded me of the line from Super Deluxe, "Gaaji, nee yen da ivalo gaaji ah irruke?"
Also, would you be surprised if I tell you that there's an entire stretch where the lead men are ostracised because people think they are a gay couple? In the first film, Karunakaran's role as a homosexual character was widely criticised. I suppose Santhosh thought he was playing it safe by projecting his character as a victim of discrimination. But unfortunately, what we're made to endure is a difficult stretch of scenes where the characters are being -- pardon the pun -- the butt of jokes.
Also, would you be surprised if I tell you there is a scene where there is an attempt at humour surrounding a transwoman? Once the laughter (why?) for this scene subsided, we move on to the next attempt at humour where the other women are subjected to a threat by the sex-starved ghost. When the transwoman questions why the ghost doesn't consider her a woman, the theatre erupted into another wave of laughter. It reminded me of the time I watched Nerkonda Paarvai when a section of the audience didn't understand Ajith's ironical questioning and cheered when he disputed the three women for staying out late, wearing 'provocative' clothing and having pre-marital sex. In fact, Irandam Kuththu made me relive the nightmare of how many people walking out of Nerkonda Paarvai thought it was a film every woman should watch to know how to 'follow' culture.
The performance is barely decent and Santhosh's acting, just like the jokes, can only be called wooden. The women are picturised in such a way that their faces barely get registered. Technically too, the film doesn't make a mark. We're left with dialogues such as, "Selaiku enna pathale seerikittu nikkum" and lyrics like, "Kekkave ippadi irruku, * an eerie gap of silence* eppadi irrukum?"
On the whole, akin to IAMK, Irandam Kuththu too lacks the necessary horror or the comedy elements and resorts to sexual innuendos as the only weapon to tickle your funny bones. For once, the virus wasn't the reason I kept my mask on as I walked out of the screen and I had to think twice before using the sanitiser dispenser on the way out.