'Murattu Kaalai' (Tamil)
Cast: Sundar C, Sneha, Sindhu Tolani, Vivek, Suman
Rajinikanth’s 80s blockbuster 'Murattu Kaalai' returns with the same name, with Sundar C reprising the role of the angry protagonist. While remaining faithful to the main plot, director Selvabharathi (of 'Ninaithen Vandhai') has brought in some changes in the screenplay, but to the detriment of the film. The result: the new version is neither a faithful remake nor adapted to suit modern sensibilities and times.
Sundar C lends his own style to the role of Kaalayan, a fairly wealthy man of the village. It’s the romantic scenes that still seem to make him uncomfortable. Deeply attached to his four brothers, Kaalayan is forced to take on the scheming evil village landlord (Suman) who coveted his land. The scenes between Kaalayan and his brothers, which were hilarious in the earlier version, hardly raise a laugh here.
Sneha is graceful as Bhuvana, who was harassed by the landlord, takes refuge in Kaalayan’s home. How she worms her way into the hearts of Kaalayan and his brothers has some interesting moments. Sindhu Tolani appears as the landlord’s daughter, disappears for long, and returns in the end to get her space.
The fight scenes are adrenalin flowing, Sundar C handling them with elan. The music, both the background score and the songs, leave much to be desired. The rehash of the popular Podhuvaga Unn Manasu Thangam... does not create the same impact as in the earlier version. However, the main drawback is in the etching of the character of ‘Saroja’ played by Vivek. For some strange reason, this role of the landlord’s confidante and handyman, has been changed to a transgender here.
And Vivek playing it gets more screen space than even the hero. Apart from a couple of moments, the actor is plainly irritating in the rest, his dialogue spiced with double entendres. The take off on the '16 Vayathinile' episode, where Saroja is wooed by the new doctor to the village, is more of an insult than a homage to the classic. Not a patch on the earlier version, this ‘kaalai’ is at the most a passable entertainer.