Parundhaaguthu Oor Kuruvi Movie Review: A twisty but superficial thriller
Despite showing signs of a dark commercial thriller, the execution, and writing bring the film down by a few notches
Like metals are to chemistry, a thriller is to film genres. Just like how the former is malleable and can be redefined into any shape, thrillers possess the ability to get transformed into any sub-genre to make use of its intriguing nature. With an increasing influx of thrillers, this genre is mixed and matched with various permutations and combinations in the hope of providing an edge-of-the-seat experience. The latest Vivek Prasanna-starrer Parundhaaguthu Oor Kuruvi is one such promising attempt at a thrilling ride, but just like how not every metal is malleable, this film too misses the train.
Cast: Vivek Prasanna, Nishanth Russo, Gayathri Iyer
Director: Dhanabalan Govindaraj
Parundhaaguthu Oor Kuruvi begins on a rather bland note. A small-time crook Aadhi (Nishanth Russo) is stranded in the middle of a forest, hand-cuffed along with an unconscious Maaran (Vivek Prasanna). While the cuffs indicate the presence of cops, we don’t really get to know anything about Maaran, but there is an understanding that both these people are clearly in danger. In the first ten minutes, which are really crucial for any narrative, there is an overall sense of nothingness that happens despite seeing henchmen being ordered around, and cops being deployed in the dense forests.
The film is set somewhere in south Tamil Nadu, probably bordering Kerala, because more than just having the stereotypical Malayali tea shop, we also have officials speaking Malayalam. But beyond this, the topography is not fleshed out enough for us to understand the flavour of the locale. However, to compensate for this, the film gets better in the latter portions of the first half with its proper execution of the non-linear chain of events. Somewhere along the halfway point, we get to know that Maaran is the husband of a high-profile actor Yamini (Gayathri Iyer) and his life is in great danger. As he attempts to go in hiding, the local police with the support of Aadhi, try to find Maaran. As luck would have it, Aadhi and Maaran are forced to join hands and help each other in the pursuit of an escape route. The chain of events is cleanly understandable. But the way it is mounted leaves a lot to be desired as the brilliant setting of the forest isn't used enough to their advantage. The film is let down with no writing techniques used to build a relationship between the locals and the land.
Its flaws notwithstanding, Parundhaagudhu Oor Kuruvi is an engaging film but doesn't hit the nail on its head as the story unravels. Even the only woman character we get to see on screen, Yamini, is a shallowly written one. Parundhaaguthu Oor Kuruvi shows her to be indulging in some sleazy business, which is commonly associated with exploitation in the film industry, but there is very little that comes off it. There is also a clear attempt at vilifying her choices by exploring the perils of her 'womanly' nature.' Her wish to abort a pregnancy to pursue her career isn’t really shown in an empathetic angle as well. There is hardly any clarity on a character's motive either.
The film does take up some dark themes, however, it isn't one involving the human mind, but dark colour palettes, and cinematography that it is almost impossible to see what's happening on screen. The use of Dutch angles, and long swirling shots to show the romance between Maaran and his wife, are neither welcoming nor pleasing.
Parundhaaguthu Oor Kuruvi has a decent premise and a fairly exciting plot, but the shallow writing and convoluted ideas in the name of one too many twists don't help navigate through the idea. There is a very superficial exploration that doesn't really help the film, which despite showing signs of becoming a solid dark commercial thriller falls short by more than just a few steps.