Katradhu Thamizh, a.k.a Thamizh M.A. is a movie that contradicts itself. Being a movie that has been regarded highly by acclaimed critic Madhan (Madhan’s Thiraipparvai on Vijay TV) Katradhu Thamizh fails miserably if you have high expectations about it, and fails yet, even I you don’t have expectations at all.
Let’s start from the theme. It’s supposed to be a film that deals with the sufferings of any man who is a graduate in Tamil. Though people may argue that Tamil graduates can be well placed with an M.Phil, it still is reality, that a lot of Tamil Graduates are unemployed, or work for meagre wages, in unrelated jobs. But Katradhu Thamizh most certainly cannot deal with the toil of a tamil Graduate! Not when the protagonist is actually a psyche, who’s mental stability has been hampered right from his childhood by a car accident that lost him his mother and grandparents, and a rail accident that lost him his dog. Violence has always been a part of his life since then, and he is a person who can be provoked by a slight disturbance. This is ceratinly not the case of studying Tamil, or hailing from a lower section of the society.
Next is the incidents of the movie: It’s a mix of the real and surreal, which itself is a blunder as silly as Matrix without graphics or Sci-fi. It doesn’t connect really, the real and the surreal, and that’s what is a major letdown of the movie. The reality portrayed in the relationships of the movie, particularly between Prabhakar and Anandhi, and between Teacher and pupil, is hampered by the surreal part that is actually supposed to be the storyline: Prabhakar’s angst against the society being vented out as he kills, assaults, gets a cameraperson to express himself on tape, and even escaping a lot of times from the police. Believe me, this is as surreal as the stuff superman comes up with, and certainly, Prabhakar is no superman, for he actually tries to kill himself.
The film has positives scattered, outnumbered by negatives in the ratio of millions. But certainly, it has its pluses. The first fifteen minutes of the movie for example, is remarkable as it quickly tells us why the protagonist wants to die, and what stops him from dying at the same time. Then, honestly, all the scenes of the movie are quite good, with some actually getting your heart, such as the fact that a school teacher (Azhagamperumal), who is Prabhakar’s Gabriel, speaks like every other person you’d meet with no senti-dialogues. Also, Anandhi’s is an extraordinary character, and I have got to say, the girl Anjali is the best actress I have ever seen in a tamil movie. Next, the screenplay, the music (Yuvan!), the editing, the camera, and the lighting are all good, with the locations providing a boost to the movie.
As a summary, Katradhu Thamizh for me, is a huge two-thumbs down, thanks to a story that contradicts itself, and a director who clearly shows that the story is about a psyche, but still claims that his story is that of every Tamil Graduate living in the city. Though the scenes in the movie, particularly the realistic ones, are quite good, the movie as an overall entity is a failure to invoke anything except a longing for the intermission, that actually comes quite late. A good ploy perhaps…
MY RATING: *1/2 (Just for performances and music, for there was no movie otherwise)