Film - Vidiyum Munn
Director- Balaji K Kumar
Cast- Pooja, Vinoth Kishan, Malavika Omanakuttan, John Vijay, Amarendran, Muthukumar, Lakshmi Ramakrishnan
Set against the world of flesh trade, inhabited by pimps, prostitutes and sexual perverts, the film is about a gutsy sex worker’s effort to save a little girl from a profession she had been part of.
Director Balaji K Kumar has captured the sleazy ambience in minute details. The cinematography and set design complement the director’s vision, creating a world that is realistically horrific, immoral and ruthless. A woman is on the run with a 12-year-old-girl, with a few characters hot on their trail. We wonder who the duo is, what they are running away from, and who their pursuers are. As the story unfolds, bits and pieces fall in place.
The woman is a sex worker Rekha. Rekha has a pretty face, hidden behind the jaded look of a woman physically and mentally drained by the vicissitudes of life and long years in the trade. In what is one of her finest performances till date, Pooja surprises you with her understanding of her character, and the subtle nuances she adds to it.
Rekha’s determination and guts, her vulnerability and fear, are all brought out with panache by Pooja. Perfectly cast is Malavika (from the Malayalam screen) as Nandini, a 12-year-old, whose deprived childhood has made her wise beyond her years.
The director has brought in some colourful characters, and cast suitable actors in them — Singaram, (Amarendran, neatly fitting in) the pimp, who would go to any length to fulfil the demands of a customer, Doraisingam, a rival in business, an indistinct figure and depicts the unseen face of the hidden ugliness in society, Langan, (John Vijay) shrewd and unscrupulous, who helps Singaram to track down Rekha and the girl, and Chinnaiya (Vinoth Kishan), who is determined to find the duo.
Was his a journey of vendetta for his father’s murder, or one of redemption? Vinoth Kishan (the villain of Naan Mahan Alla), as the angry sombre Chinnaiya, essays his role with conviction. The director unravels the whole mystery in an intriguing way, bringing in a couple of interesting turns in the screenplay. The hypocrisy of the elite and their sexual deviations is brought out with horrific candour. There is the scene at the paedophile’s mansion that is skillfully crafted, leaving the audience feeling the undercurrent of something distasteful in the air. There is yet another scene at Doraisingam’s den, where his men are shown playing a deadly game with a snake.
The narration of the story of the king and the dog is integrated at an interesting point in the narration.
What is commendable is that though the theme had enough room for skin show, the director has refrained from indulging in it.
Vidiyum Munn is a tastefully and a sensitively crafted depiction of the sleazy side of society.