Cast: Karthi, Sathyaraj, Sayyeshaa, Soori, Priya Bhavani Shankar
Kadaikutty Singam is touted as a film on farmers which would inspire city-bred youngsters to take up farming. But actually it is a rustic family drama, a genre of the late ’80s and early ’90s in Tamil cinema, which Pandiraj has brought back. To our relief, it's narrated in a realistic manner.
Set in a southern rural place in TN, Kadaikutty Singam begins with the intro of the huge family of Perunazhi Ranasingam (Sathyaraj), a big shot in the village, who has two wives, Vanavan Maadevi (Viji Chandrashekar) and Panjavan Maadevi (Bhanupriya), and five daughters through them. Ranasingam yearns for a son and when he was about to marry for the third time (!) at the age of 50, his first wife becomes pregnant and delivers a baby boy — our hero Perunazhi Gunasingam (Karthi). Given a choice between higher education and farming by his dad, Gunasingam chose to be a farmer. He is attached to his elder sisters and uncles and does anything for them. Proud of his profession, Gunasingam is loved by all. His family wants him to marry one of his grownup nieces Poompozhil Chellama (Priya Bhavani Shankar) or Andal (Arthana Binu). And the girls are also fond of their ‘murai maaman’.
All hell breaks loose when Gunasingam falls for Kannukiniyaal (Sayyeshaa), daughter of Thillai Nayagam (Ponvannan), which leads to a big split in the close-knit family.
Meanwhile, Gunasingam locks horns with Kannukiniyaal’s uncle Kodimaaran (Kodimaaran), a caste fanatic who advocates honour killing. Kodi also waits for a chance to pull Gunasingam down. The rest is all about how Gunasingam reunites the family and gets their approval for his marriage.
With his terrific screen presence, agility and infectious energy levels, Karthi pulls off the role of a (rich) farmer with effortless ease. Aided with Pandiraj’s sharp dialogues, he scores superbly in emotional scenes, especially the temple sequences towards the climax. His kicking style in high-octane action blocks though resembles his bro Suriya in Singam; it is nonetheless admirable. The ever-dependable Sathyaraj shines in a solid role. Sayyeshaa looks beautiful and hogs the limelight despite limited scope. After ages, Soori’s comic one-liners are sensible and worked out really well. Priya Bhavani Shankar and Arthana Binu are adequate. The first half moves rapidly and is filled with lighter moments. But post interval, the movie drags and turns somewhat melodramatic. However, Pandiraj engages you with his poignant climax. He should be commended for steering clear of double entendres and easy-sleazy humour. One wonders if people in the city with nuclear families would relate to this emotional family drama set in a village milieu. The feel-good movie may go well with audiences from B and C centres.
Velraj’s camera captures the lush green rural locales vividly and offers visual splendour. Songs by Imman are okay, but the BGM has a familial feel.
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