Film: Thee Kulikkum Pachai Maram
Director: Vineesh- Prabheesh
Cast: Prajin, Sarayu, Sasha, MS Bhaskar, Nizhalgal Ravi & Manimaran
With a new generation of directors entering the scene, some original and unconventional films are being made in recent times.
Thee Kulikkum Pachai Maram is one such out-of-the-beaten-track experience. While humour was the mainstay of earlier successful films like Kadhalil Sodappuvadhu Yeppadi, Pizza, Soodhu Kavvum, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom etc., this time it’s a serious take on the unholy happenings in a mortuary. Debutant duo Vineesh-Prajeesh (shortfilm makers) brings in conviction and realism, baring the ugly side of human nature, that shows scant respect even to a corpse.
The film also dwells on juvenile delinquency, proving the old adage that the one who lives by the sword dies by it.
The film opens with three guys Pandi, Charlie and Dorai being released after serving a six- year sentence as punishment for a crime they had committed in their early teens in school. In adulthood now, and facing a bleak future, Pandi decides to return to his village, while Charlie and Dorai decide to take their chance in the world. It’s through Pandi’s flashback to the past that we learn about their deprived background, their formative years in school, and of how the rebellious trio came to be in the correction home.
The early scenes do not really give us any inkling as to which way the plot would move. Pandi returns home a grim man with no family to call his own. Chandrika (Sarayu from Malayalam screen neatly fits in), Pandi’s childhood friend, wears her heart on her sleeve. Pandi, jobless and frustrated, ignores her initially, but relents after a while and marries her. The scenes of interaction between them are well-handled. With a baby on the way and in dire need of money, Pandi joins a mortuary as a helper. His life would never be the same again.
Actor Prajin (a TV anchor before) competently gets into the skin of Pandi’s character, whose transformation from a horrified first timer at the mortuary to a more experienced one is well-depicted. There is a scene where Pandi faints at the sight of a corpse being dissected on his first day of work. In a later scene, he non-chalantly removes the shoe from a corpse and casually tries it on. MS Bhaskar as his mentor brings in some light moments.
Horrific and brutally candid in their depiction, the unholy goings-on at the mortuary are not for the faint-hearted, as organ harvesting and mauling and raping of corpses form part of the scenario.
In the enclosed limited space within the confines of the mortuary, the happenings are caught realistically by Madhu Ambat’s camera. The film slackens towards the end, but makes up for it by its gruesome, literally blood-curdling finale. Appreciable, however, is its ending. Positive and uplifting, it promises hope and a new beginning. The film may have its glitches, but for those satiated with routine formula stuff, TKPM, in just about 112 minutes, offers a different viewing experience.