His Kaaka Muttai having earned critical and popular acclaim, director Manikandan tries his hand at a psychological crime thriller with Kuttrame Thandanai. With out-of-the-box-thinking, intriguing screenplay and deft narration, he strikes a note different from routine flicks.
The film is steady and leisurely paced, lending a touch of realism to the proceedings. That each one’s troubled conscience could be its own punishment is conveyed without any moralising. The plot centres round a murder, but it’s not a typical whodunnit scenario. It’s about how the various people who are related to it react to it. There are no villains or heroes here. Each character is a victim of circumstance, his behaviour resulting from an essential need for survival. Like Ravi, a credit card collection agent who suffers from tunnel vision, a rare eye disorder. He needs money for an eye operation. When his neighbour Shweta is found murdered, all Ravi could think is to turn the situation to his advantage. A challenging role, It’s a controlled and restrained performance from Vidharth (his home production).
There is Prakash a businessman and a suspect, who is willing to pay a blackmailer. Rahman as Prakash is suave and cool. Scenes of Ravi’s interaction with his colleague (Pooja), who has a soft corner for him, have a natural flow. A consummate actor Aishwarya yet again proves that the length of the role doesn’t matter. As Shweta with gray shades to her character, she may have got less screen space but leaves her impact. The actors in brief roles too leave their mark, like Nasser, Somasundaram, Marimuthu and Pasi Sathya. The film has no songs and no one misses them either. Illaiyaraja’s background score complements the narrative flow. With its mature unconventional take on a crime scene, and its international feel and sensibility, Kuttrame Thandanai does Tamil cinema proud.