Suseendran, is back with his third film and this time too, has chosen a totally different genre from his previous film. He's also made a daring and unthinkable move by appointing Appukutty as his hero which many others will choose not to do. Having Ilaiyaraja as a major asset for the film, Suseendran has made a simple and heartwarming film which emphasises the fact that story is always the king.
On the acting front, Appukutty has delivered his best or finest performance and it was a correct move by Suseendran to appoint him as the hero because no one else could have done justice to the role other than Appukutty. With the dark skinned, curly hair and plump body, Appukutty stole the show with his sincere performance and the best scenes of him would the part where he fights back with the villagers for his horse and the emotional bursts of him revealing the importance of the horse to him. Saranya Mohan appeared in a small role and she did her act well though she doesn't suit the role of a villager perfectly but it can be excused as the director wanted to project an unimaginable beautiful girl from the perspective of a average village guy (Appukutty). Prabhakaran and Advaitha, the other pair was life like and did a neat portrayal of their characters. Besides that, Krishnamoorthy, Soori and the others in the cast was very much life like and should say lived they're role. All the minor characters, from the intelligent small boy, to the local shaman, the 'minor', the village president and teacher and etc has done their role to near perfection and most of them had a scene or two where they scored brilliantly with their performances.
On the technical side, the film was good with the crew delivering exactly what the script demanded. Isaingani Ilaiyaraja kept it subtle with his songs, and Kuthikira Kudhiraikutty song being the pick of the lot which has fantastic delivery by Raja sir himself. The background score has also been delivered neatly and was not overpowering. Theni Eeshwar, the debuting cinematographer did a good job by capturing the natural beauty of the hillside villages of Theni and also for using proper angles in important scenes. Being a good photographer has helped him a lot. Anal Arasu choreographed a near perfect fight sequence involving Appukutty and the villagers which was very natural and kudos to him for bringing not over doing the stunts. Kasi Vishwanathan, the editor could have done a better job in the first half which was moving slowy to establish the scenarios and milieu of the film.
The real hero of the film is definitely the story and dialogue writer Bhaskar Shakthi. His simple and sweet story of the relationship between the horse(s) and the protagonist/villagers was very direct and heartwarming. His dialogues were a big plus to the film with all the situational comedies woven into the film beautifully. Certain scenes do stand out for the comedy aspect like the long drawn fund-collecting scene by the village heads, the parotta shop scene involving the small boy (it was cheeky of Suseendran to bring in Soori in that scene) and how the atheist village youths makes fun of the village's festival predicament. Although the whole plot revolves around the village areas and set in the 80's period, yet nothing was boring or cliched and Suseendran must be applauded for showing the villagers in a different light yet presented them in their natural elements.
Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai, a whiff of fresh air for the audience but some degree of patience and love for cinema is needed to appreciate films of such genre. Hope such efforts come more often in Tamizh cinema.
Ratings: 3/5 STARS