After watching Kuttrame Thandanai, I felt four aspects to be common in Kaaka Muttai and Kuttrame Thandanai. I had briefed the 4 commonalities in a write-up titled, 4 Common Aspects of Kaaka Muttai and Kuttrame Thandanai then. The article’s bottom line was that except the aspect pertaining to the method of execution of screenplay (which is Manikandan’s strong point and his unique ability in film making), the rest can be occasionally reused or completely avoided by the director Manikandan in his upcoming ventures which would offer the audience a unique movie experience.
Now, the third product of the Kaaka Muttai and Kuttrame Thandanai director, Aandavan Kattalai has hit the screens. To the much delight to the fans of Manikandan’s film making style, the director has continued to follow his unpretentious style of execution of screenplay despite having a star performer like Vijay Sethupathi on board. It indeed works out well. It is a welcome sign to not to see the aspect, where the main characters belittle their supporting characters in Aandavan Kattalai at any point of time in the movie.
In spite of the principal character of Aandavan Kattalai which is badly in search of money (quest of character Gandhi portrayed by Vijay Sethupathi to earn money to clear his debts) and primary Character’s more personal wish as his short term goal (Gandhi travelling to England on a tourist visa to earn money) being utilized in the movie, they have taken a back seat by giving projection to the process of creating an awareness on how the fraudsters corrupt the procedures that are in place in the system of passport office.
Rather than the process of creating awareness being preachy, it tends to be a mixed bag possessing the comprehensive emotions of friendship, love and trust spearheaded by humour (not a humour driven by insult). The aspect of friendship has been beautifully illustrated by Vijay Sethupathi, Yogi Babu and Aravindhan (essaying the touching role of ‘Nesan’). Obviously, the portion involving love has been completely driven by Vijay Sethupathi and Ritika Singh which is not a run-of-the-mill romance. Vijay Sethupathi’s mature way of proposing his love to Ritika Singh towards the climax and her bashful expressions in accepting the same could well certify the argument on the kind of romance tried out in this movie. The segments portraying the concept of trust have been enacted by Nasser and Vijay Sethupathi, where, in the climax the character portrayed by Nasser goes on to say that he once had a wish to have Gandhi as his son-in-law.
The clips other than the ones related to the notions of friendship, love and trust have been completely owned by humour. As far as this movie is concerned, humour isn’t a one man job. It is a collective effort. But, there has to be someone to spearhead the arena of comedy (at least for a portion of the movie). It is none other than Yogi Babu. The very appearance of certain actors like Nagesh and Vadivelu in movies, did invoke a smile and a guffaw when their antics were unleashed by them, in their respective hey days. Following suit, Yogi Babu’s animated attitude and amusing behaviour tickles the audience’s funny bones.
If it is Yogi Babu who spearheads humorous portions in the first half of the movie then it is Vijay Sethupathi in the second half. Vijay Sethupathi keeps on expanding the frontiers of his versatility by fitting into comedy-dramas like Aandavan Kattalai and rising to the occasion in portraying larger than life roles in action-thrillers like Sethupathi where both the movies are poised at two extremes of film making. The actor has learnt the knack of choosing roles, which are challenging to enact on-screen, with commercially viable scripts. When stars like Vijay Sethupathi, at regular intervals, keep choosing films like Aandavan Kattalai, the longevity of realistic films is assured. Along with the able support of Ritika Singh, Pooja Devariya, Aravindhan, Vinodhini Vaidyanathan and Namo Narayana, Vijay Sethupathi has played to the gallery.
Usually, the directors who seem to be experts in balancing the utilization of relatively less known actors in movies possessing engaging screenplay tend to lose their hold over the coherent execution of screenplay, placement of songs, logical nuances and clear cut characterisations of artists involved in the movie when it comes to films involving star performers like Vijay Sethupathi. But, Manikandan has assured via Aandavan Kattalai that he can deftly handle a movie, dealing with a more complicated scenario in an animated manner, which involves a star performer. With all the above mentioned aspects, one could strongly affirm that Aandavan Kattalai has offered a unique experience when compared to the previous two brain-children of director Manikandan.