RJ Balaji’s first directorial LKG was a fun satire that was a bit loud but never felt unclear about its intentions. Coming to his new movie Mookuthi Amman that got released on Hotstar, this one is also a satire, but feels like a hastily made one. The idea never feels fresh in terms of the way the story is navigated. Nayanthara, who plays the titular character in the movie, is giving a speech to the audience at the end of the film, and it felt like a rip-off of the climax debate we saw in Aamir Khan Starrer PK.
Engels Ramasamy is a local news channel reporter who is doing his bit of investigative journalism to make it big. But his life, on the whole, was a luckless ride. His father abandoned the family at one point, and he was the breadwinner of his big family comprised of his mother, grandfather, and three sisters. The story here focuses on what happens when one day his Ancestral God Mookuthi Amman appears in front of him and asks him to create a believer-following for her temple also.
The idea is basically to expose the God business to everyone. From Wild Wild Country to PK, we can sense from where RJ Balaji has picked his script’s components. But unlike LKG, which was loud yet structured, here everything is pretty chaotic. It takes almost half an hour for the movie to get to the part where Nayanthara is introduced as Mookuthi Amman. And I had nearly lost my interest in the film by the time it reached that point. It was mostly because of the untidy writing that was desperate for comedy. After the arrival of Amman, there is the texture of a spoof in the narrative. But the deafening overdoing of the sequences makes it look silly rather than satiric.
The problem, in my opinion, was with the structuring of sequences. RJ Balaji and NJ Saravanan seem to be improvising far too much. There is this want to create a fraud God-man, who is like the encapsulation all Godmen, people have seen. It is not at all a bad thing to do. But when you try to include it without really thinking about that character, somewhere, the seriousness of that antagonist gets lost. The movie, at times, slips into the side track comedy mood. It has its share of feminism in the narrative. But the WhatsApp forward to screen transition of those statements felt pretty bland.
RJ Balaji, when he plays the character with normalcy, is fun to watch. But whenever he goes high pitch, it was a bit too irritating, courtesy of his own clunky script. Urvashi is also struggling in the comedy sequences simply because of how the writing lingers on to the pointlessness in a sequence for far too long. She is a terrific actor, and the sequence where she explains the “stupidity” of her life in front of Amman is proof of that. Nayanthara, who has done an extended cameo-like role in the movie as Mookuthi Amman, is required to have that graceful way of carrying a goddess. And we know that she has done that very convincingly in the past, and here only the costume part is a bit flashy. Visaranai Villain Ajay Ghosh plays the role of Bhagavathi Baba.
The intention of the movie Mookuthi Amman is sincere. But the making is mediocre. RJ Balaji wants to make many statements about his views on the business behind the human-made Gods. But he is struggling to create a compelling story that can make you think about the core topic.
The intention of the movie Mookuthi Amman is sincere. But the making is mediocre. RJ Balaji is struggling to create a compelling story that can make you think about the core topic.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended