Putham Puthu Kaalai Vidiyaadhaa, the new lockdown anthology from Amazon Prime Video, is arranged chronologically from bad to better. Every episode here is half an hour long and portrays a wide range of emotions. Balaji Mohan emphasizes the humor aspect of the situation. At the same time, the other directors are more interested in the complicated mind space of human beings at that time. Barring Aishwarya Lakshmi starrer Nizhal Tharum Idham, none of the other movies manages to have a solid impact but manages to create an okay feel. And the Balaji Mohan movie felt like a sluggish attempt.
The first episode stars Teejay Arunasalam and Gouri G Kishan as police officers on duty. Titled Mugakavasa Mutham, it felt like an underdeveloped idea despite being only half an hour long. The plot here deals with a limited guest wedding that happens during COVID times and how that event plays a key role in the romantic equation between two young police officers. Neither the main characters nor the supporting characters have life in them. The caricature nature of characters puts the movie constantly in that side-track comedy mood.
Loners by Halitha Shameem is a film that talks about empathy. It talks about the necessity of an understanding person in our life, without necessarily fixing them as partners or friends, to talk to and feel a bit light. The typical Tamil movie loudness is there in the cinematic rendering of this film. As a fan of Richard Linklater films, I thought they could have narrated it in a much subtle way. The performances of both Lijomol Jose and Arjun Das looked extremely natural, and it was good to see Arjun Das pulling off such a vulnerable character with that bass voice.
Mouname Paarvayaai by Madhumita starring Joju George and Nadiya Moidu depends heavily on its performers. It is this predictable idea of partners supporting one another putting aside their differences. The film has no dialogues, and the communication tricks offer some light-hearted humor. The area that is supposed to win the viewer’s heart is the last sentimental bit. But, it is something that one can see from a very long distance.
The Mask, directed by Surya Krishna, is actually the movie that sort of has almost all the emotions in one story. Sananth plays this central character Arjun, who is afraid of disclosing his sexuality to his parents. Because of that, he is on the verge of ending his relationship with his partner Paul. But things take an interesting turn when Arjun’s schoolmate calls him suddenly to meet. The backdrop of the schoolmate certainly gives the movie a quirky feel, and action director Dhilip Subbarayan as the schoolmate Velu was really impressive. Yes, this one also is predictable. But the mixture of treatments and topics made it interesting.
The movie that stayed with me at the end was the last segment in the anthology series directed by Richard Antony. Nizhal Tharum Idham starring Aishwarya Lekshmi, is easily the winner among the five films, in my opinion. The character exploration that’s happening in this movie is moving. Richard Antony is not trying to surprise us with a story with a twist. But he shows us the dilemmas and insecurities of a 30-year-old single woman named Shobi. Shobi’s relationship with her father wasn’t a smooth one after her mother’s demise. Her fear of losing people is keeping her away from almost everyone. She is running away from anyone who tries to show an attachment towards her. Even though I wasn’t that comfortable listening to Aishwarya Lekshmi’s Tamil, the scene where she breaks down in the climax was brilliant.
I had seen Kaun Banegi Shikharwati in Zee5 last week, and the show was so bad that I didn’t even feel like reviewing it. At a time when OTT platforms are creating shoddy content just for the sake of having weekly releases, I would say Putham Puthu Kaalai Vidiyaadhaa is not a terrible one at all. Almost all of them are these wannabe feel-good films with a guessable trajectory. But either because of the feel-good factor or the performances, this lockdown anthology becomes a passable creation.
Almost all of them are these wannabe feel-good films with a guessable trajectory. But either because of the feel-good factor or the performances, this lockdown anthology becomes a passable creation.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended