When a first-time filmmaker helms a low budgeted film with no big names in the cast, and if the film happens to be the debutant hero’s home production too, then one approaches it with some apprehension. For, often we have seen the director is more indulgent and inclined towards his producer-hero than to his script. The screenplay would have been geared to give every chance to the debutant to indulge and showcase his prowess in the dance-fight-romance-sentiment routine. And whatever the potential the script seemed to have had, is negated in the bargain.
But Kida Poosari Magudi springs a surprise. Fairly neat in the etching of its screenplay and treatment, the film has some good performances from its lead cast, freshers to the screen who are suitably cast. Set in a rural ambience, it chronicles the happenings in the life of two men and a girl. How the equation changes as each goes through some critical phases in their life, is beautifully showcased.
The film revolves around 3 characters: Magudi (Thamizh, his home production) a regular at temple functions where a goat has to be sacrificed, an act which he performs with skillful finesse, his niece Malar (Nakshatra) who he is deeply devoted to and dreams of marrying one day; and Selvam (Ramdev) the new entrant to the village who almost thwarts Magudi’s dreams. Each of the characters is fleshed out impressively in the screenplay. And their changing attitude towards each other, when their situations change, lends a novelty and freshness to the characters.
The director has made an effort to avoid cliches. Like in the scene when Magudi’s learns about Malar’s affair with Selvam, there was enough room for a direct conflict between the two men and an action sequence could have been placed there. But Magudi’s unexpected take on the situation lends freshness to these episodes. The face-off would come later. As Malar reconciles to her new life and is in a contented and harmonious relationship with Magudi, circumstances would bring the trio into conflict again. Debutant Nakshatra (from the Malayalam) has given a brilliant performance as Malar. She has infused life into the character lending it every nuance of emotion that it demanded. Her transition from a love-struck nubile girl to a woman who is ruthlessly practical to her former lover, who is causing disharmony in her life with Magudi, is impressive.
Ramdev is suitably cast as Selvam. Thamizh as the simpleton Magudi, unkempt, brash and boorish, possessive and insecure in his relationship with Malar, essays his role competently, lending it the negative shades.
While the first half is focused with the steady narration, the second half loses its grip somewhat with aimless comic scenes. Case in point is the barber shop where Powerstar enters the scene playing the barber. But the plot, thankfully, spirals into a well thought-out climax. A tauter second half would have reduced the film’s running time from its 137 minutes.
A key strength to the film is Illaiyaraja’s music. The songs are melodious with an old world charm that goes well with the film’s feel and mood. The locations and the backdrop in the scenes are well selected, the camera (Ravi Seenivas) capturing the ambience and the action realistically.
The film, an impressive effort by a debutant, delivers much more than what one had expected.