To start off with the cast, where else can we open up other than the man of the moment, Vijay Sethupathi. As Das, the leader of the motley, chaotic 'kednaping' crew, he should be commended for choosing to play a role which is off much senior to his actual age. His paunch and looks have been very well sketched out and he fits into the role as perfectly as a glove. Brilliantly, composed performance ! Perfect body language added more sheen to his acting delivery. This boy's place is definitely cemented and he is for sure here to stay as a poster boy of the unique small-budgeted films. Way to go Vijay !! The pretty and petite Sanchita Shetty, a literal dream girl, was near-perfect with her dialogues and lip-sync but she could work out more on her body language to improve her performance. The other three crazy guys of the 'kednaping' crew were fantastic as well. Simhaa's soft image worked out very well for his character, RJ Ramesh was brilliant with his voice modulation and Ashok Selvan's expressions were spot on. The rest of the cast such as the incorruptible politician M.S Bhaskar, the psychotic silent-killer Yog Japee, the straight-in-the-face Radha Ravi, the scheming son Karunakaran and whacky henchman cum gangster Aruldass, were too good in their roles.
'Soodhu Kavvum' is definitely one of the films to have had all of its technical department, deliver fantastic outputs. Costume designer Shiva did a wonderful job with Vijay Sethupathi's costumes, which gave Vijay the dirty, odd look. Whereas Sanchita was looking very pretty in Reshma's costume designing, which was a necessity as she is an 'dream-girl' after all ! 'Billa' Jagan's stunt choreography was very professionally done, with precision executions, which was a difficult thing to do, since Yog Japee's stunts had changing backdrops ! Not to be left, the bar fight sequence, was also well choreographed. Vijay Adhinathan's art direction was veridical in detailing. The dingy, half-torn, home of the lead character, which was filled with odd props, the moderately decorated house of a minister, the warehouse setting, and also for the "Kaasu Panam" durbar sequence. Everything was bang-on and its laudable achievement, since he has done it, with moderate budget. Leo John Paul's editing was sharp yet smooth. The transition from one event to another was smooth and his hard-work was evident throughout the film, with many cut-shots and montages pierced together into particular sequences. Brilliant work ! B.Dinesh Krishnan's cinematography complemented the mood and feel of the directors vision of his script, which gave the film a neo-noir look. His lighting and angles for many sequences were unique touches, which added more fun element to the script.
One of the exciting talents of the current Tamizh film music arena, Santhosh Narayanan has once again smashed it, with a brilliant album, which has fantastic outputs mastered by Steve Smart, who has contributed his talents to Madonna and Michael Jackson ! The theme music, "Sudden Delight" is literally a sudden delight which is played sporadically along the film's screenplay. "Mama Douser", a zany song sung by Andrea, was picturized on a bar fight, with fantastic lighting and props, with good camera movements, and also re-used again later for a thrilling chase sequence. "Coma Na Come" is a montage filled song, which showcased the 'kednaping' crew with their funny 'kednaping' ordeals. "Kaasu Panam" was fantastically picturized, with Karunakaran in a dream song, which resembled the old Durbar courtyard of ancient Indian kings. 'Gaana' Bala makes a groovy cameo in this song as well. "Sa Ga" is a short situational dream song, which resembled like a lullaby, shot on the lead pair, showcasing Sanchita in an angel-like role, comforting the brutally battered Vijay. "Ellam Kadanthu" is another situational song, showing Karunakaran's rise in politics, picturized in montages. This same song was also picturized separately for promotional purposes, with most of the cast singing the lines, in scenes of the films ! The background score was brilliantly composed, with unique tracks for each characters and they did not overwhelm the flow of the screenplay. 'Soodhu Kavvum' is a milestone in Santhosh's career !
What works for 'Soodhu Kavvum' are the crazy and quirky ideas layered throughout the film, and none of them were simply thrust into the film for the sake of it. A creative script and story (jointly developed by Nalan with Srinivas Kavenayam) is further strengthened by the strong and well-written roles of the main artists. Each of them uniquely varied from each other and has their own sense of comic timing. The congruence of all these characters led to a zany and wacky situations, and these episodes were very well conceptualized and executed by Nalan, who deserves a big round of applause, for achieving it. And what worked well for the film was the manner the concepts were executed, which was very light-hearted, yet quirky in nature. The experimentation did not go wrong for Nalan most of the time, but there was a light dip in pace in the second half, which stretched the duration of the film. Yet it can be forgiven, since the final output was master-class. Nalan also impresses with super dialogues, which were well timed and delivered perfectly by the acting cast. Wacky ideas, creative script, fun screenplay, near-perfect execution, an aptitude cast, a quality crew, what else can we ask from Nalan's debut noir-comic film ?
'Soodhu Kavvum' - scooped our attention, in a big way !
Ratings: 3.5/5 STARS