Kuttramae Thandanai - Visitor Review

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Kuttramae Thandanai - Visitor Review

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When the writer & director of the path-breaking Kaaka Muttai joins hands with Maestro Ilaiyaraaja for a crime thriller drama, the movie is bound to raise some eyebrows. Especially since the movie was officially selected in film festival circuit, the expectations doubled in a year which saw movies like Visaranai, Uriyadi and Joker release.

Technically the movie is quite brilliant led by Manikandan who is also the cinematographer of the film. The tone of the film, the mood of the scenes and the drama of the characters as they unfold are captured and brought to light in a splendid manner. Special mention to the time lapse shots, the tunnel vision shots & various close-ups including that of bird cage. Editor Anucharan is a huge plus as he maintains focus on the narrative with a neatly cut run time of 100 minutes and is instrumental in keeping the audience engrossed.

The performances of the movie do justice to the characters written. Vidarth who also produces the movie does justice to his role and is able to maintain the continuity in character which helps a huge deal in thriller screenplays. Pooja Devariya along with others including the likes of Nasser, Rahman & Guru Somasundaram ably support this film which is focussed only on a handful of characters.    
In this crime thriller, Manikandan shares story writing credits with Anand Annamalai. The setting of the movie within the confines of a housing apartment and the characterization of the lead is inspired and seems to be a nod/tribute to the Master of Suspense Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. 


Although the movie closely relates to the events of a murder and the fall out the ensuing investigation reminiscent of the trademark crime thrillers, the writing of Manikandan also puts forward a moral question/dilemma resulting in a poignant climax showcasing the originality in writing. The screenplay of the movie is handled delicately as there is enough drama to engage and suspense enough to engross. Kudos to Manikandan for not adopting the ‘what next’ approach instead opting for the slowly built moments leading up to the closure subtly in tune with the theme of the film.


Even though the story is narrated from the point of view of the protagonist, the victims of the movie and their plight was not addressed by the screenplay which made the narration incomplete and anti-climatic with respect to those characters and in a way affected the otherwise poetic climax. The characterisation of Nasser with whom the protagonist shares the events also felt incomplete and did not quite gel into the story as such. Certain scene constructions if thought of from a different point of view could have added more drama and suspense to the script as such. Because of these, the movie may give the ‘something missing’ vibe.


The background score of the movie is its biggest asset. The score by Maestro Ilaiyaraaja stands testament to the fact that he is one of the best film music composers and his mastery over the art is very evident wherein the places where he remains silent and where he scores are perfection. The instrumentation and the layering of the score elevate the movie manifold and convey the emotions originally conceived by the writer & director. As Manikandan mentioned in an interview, Maestro’s presence is felt from the very first second of the film till the last. The title score, the police investigation sequence, the reveal sequence, the climax etcc literally are a lesson for other music directors. Only Maestro Ilaiyaraaja can compose such a perfect score which is worthy of any award.


Kuttramae Thandanai belongs to a very rare breed of films where the narration is focussed and all the moments of the film are dictated by the plot. After Kaaka Muttai, Manikandan establishes himself as a solid versatile filmmaker with this crime thriller/drama. I am certainly looking forward to his next two films Aandavan Kattalai and Kadaisi Vivasaayee. This is a movie to be appreciated, supported and can be viewed multiples times just to experience the musical score.

Sriraman Srinivasan
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