By: Settu Shankar
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Among films with routine genre, Katrathu Tamil is a movie with different storyline. In fact many in their mid thirties and forties face the same problem - financial instability. But what makes the film good is the way the director tells the story and portrays the characters in the movie. In the late 80's, English medium education was accessible only for the urban upper middle class people. Rural people were studying and are still studying only in Tamil Medium schools which don't even have the required facilities.
In this state of affairs, a young man with the knowledge of Tamil will be able to earn only few thousands of rupees. But a man with knowledge of English and computer skills will earn more than 2 lakhs per month. This financial insecurity causes frustration and mental agony in the minds of young people who are affected by this phenomenon. There has been no effective solution to this phenomena – not even the movie.
Prabhakar (Jeeva) is a Tamil teacher in a private school in Chennai, who leads a lonely life in a dungeon lodge. He is frustrated and even tries to commit suicide, in a system where knowing your mother tongue and teaching it is looked down upon by a society which craves for material benefits which results in financial in security for many.10 years ago, the people who were getting Rs 2000 and Rs 20000 respectively don't earn proportionately increased salaries. The people who earned Rs. 20,000 then earn at least 2 lakhs now. But the people who were earning Rs. 2000 still earn Rs. 2000 only and struggle to fulfill their basic needs.
These frustrations and circumstances make Prabhakar mad as a result of which he kills nearly 23 people all in different situations ranging from a railway booking clerk to a customer of prostitute house. Finally he finds a private channel cameraman (Karunas) and confesses to him his killing spree. In the flashback, he unfolds his painful at times beautiful-past and the reasons for his passion for the Tamil language
The unnecessary murders and his pointless arguments about the ineffectiveness of the system take the viewers away from the intended focus of the film. Contrary of the script of the movie, a guy with upper hand in Tamil can find more openings than a computer/software engineer. Learning Tamil allows a person to learn a lot more, be more mature and lead a cultures life. A Tamil teacher gets good – infact gets better treatment than other teachers. If the director kept these reality checks in mind, the film could have been a indeed unique film in Tamil Cinemas 75 year old history.
Jeeva acts exceptionally well playing the role of a psychopath in the film. His most impressive scene is the one in which he confronts a call centre employee and vents his frustration with the system on him. But the very same scene shows how the call centre employee gets jealous of Jeeva. Despite such strong performances, the script lets the film down big time. And the make up department should have taken care to see that Jeeva didn't look like he was indeed wearing make up. One could easily make out that his beard was an artificial one.
Anjali too performs excellently well in the film. Her girl-next-door image helps viewers to connect with the movie. Azhgam Perumal's cameo too has got the attention off viewers. Yuvan Shankar Raja's music is very good too – especially the song sung by his father Ilayaraja. 'Paravaye yen ingu irukkirai' is so soothing that your heart melts when you listen to it. Ilayaraja's soothing voice takes the song to a whole new other level.
Kadhir's gritty camera which travels all over the country is another plus point.
One couldn't find any fault in Raam's aim, but the way he narrates the story is not as impressive. In some scenes we could experiences the rich taste of cinema but in most of the scenes the purpose of the film is looking aimless.
Verdict: Good, partly!
Cast: Jeeva, Anjali, Azhgam Perumal, Karunaas
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raaja
Written and Directed by: Raam