Engaging screenplay, deft narration, well-etched characters and twists and humour generated at unexpected moments, make Soodhu Kavvum a wacky jolly fun ride. A participant of the TV reality show Naalaya Iyakkunar (like Pizza’s Kartik Subburaj and Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi’s Balaji Mohan), Nalan Kumarasamy makes his mark with his very first film.
Vijay Sethupathy’s uncanny selection of scripts works for him big time. The plots and the characters he has played so far have been varied and challenging — be it Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom, Pizza or his Das role in Soodhu Kavvum. It’s laudable that the actor doesn’t hesitate to take a role that has him essaying a 40-year-old man, greying and with a paunch. Das is a small-time kidnapper, shabby, unkempt, weird and hallucinating at times. Sethupathy plays it with perfect understanding that it’s fascinating to watch him go through its various nuances. Shalu (Sanchita Shetty, a perfect foil) is Das’s constant companion, with the duo making for an interesting team. The rest of the characters too are quirky and colourful, the actors finely tuned to their roles. The director etches the background of his characters meticulously and one knows what to expect from each as the story progresses. There are the three wastrels (Simha, Ramesh, Selvan), whom Das takes under his wing. The latter has his list of do’s and dont’s: his targets only being ordinary people. Then comes the chance to make some big money, but the operation that goes awry. Jobby is quietly menacing as Brahma the brutal sadistic cop on the track of the gang. It’s an ending that reminds you of Pizza, in a fiction-merging-with-reality kind of way.
Some of the scenes may fall short on logic, but the novelty or the humour in the situation keeps it going. The narration could have been made crisper and slicker. The songs are apt (Santosh Narayan) and suitably placed, and the background score enhances the feel. The director takes a dig at the political scenario in the episodes of the upright minister (Bhasker) and the chief minister (Radha Ravi), who plays the politics of survival. Soodhu Kavvum is imaginatively crafted, engaging and worth a watch.