Film: Sillu Karuppatti
Director: Halitha Shameem
Cast: Samudrakani, Sunainaa,Niveditha Sathish, Leela Samson and others
Music: Pradeep Kumar
Rating: Two and a half stars
Director Halitha Shameem’s Sillu Karuppatti is an anthology of four short stories, all supposed to be on love and relationships.
The four stories are titled The Pink Bag, Kaaka Kadi, Turtles and Hey Ammu! and pertain to different age groups. While the Pink Bag is about two kids in their teens, Kaaka Kadi is about two youngsters who have just begun working and are on the verge of getting married. Turtles is about two elderly people looking for companionship and Hey Ammu is about a middle-aged couple with three children.
The film is deep. At a superficial level, the film comes across as being just a ‘feel good’ film that looks to spread the idea that love is everywhere. But look closer and you realise that there is much more to the stories that the director has presented than just plain simple, unadulterated love.
The first story, The Pink Bag, is indeed a cute story that talks about the love that a rag-picking teenager called Maanja( Raahul) develops for an upper-middle class girl called Mity(Baby Sara), who, incidentally is aspiring to be a musician. The way it is shot and the manner in which the actors in this story express themselves are all laudable. The story by itself is adorable.
The second story, Kaaka Kadi, is a tricky package that has both elements that are good and bad. The story is about Mukilan (Manikandan) an IT professional, who also has a penchant for creating memes. The youngster, who is engaged to a girl, is eagerly awaiting his wedding when suddenly he realises that he has prostrate cancer. How Madhu(Nivedhitha Sathish) a fashion designer, who happens to meet him during a ride, helps him is what the story is about.
If handled well, this story could have been a beautiful memory. But unfortunately, it seems to have been handled with a degree of insensitivity. Prostrate cancer is a serious issue. It claims more victims than breast cancer. To pen dialogues that literally mock the victim and make fun of his suffering, for the sake of eliciting a few laughs from the audience is unpardonable.
Take for instance, the manner in which the to-be-bride breaks off the engagement. “Katti irundhal eppadi Katti kodupaargal?,” she messages to Mugilan much to the delight of the audience. One expects directors to be sensitive while handling such issues. At this point in time, one is also tempted to wonder if whether the reception would have been the same if a male director, in his film, had penned dialogues about breast cancer in this same insensitive way.
That isn’t the only problem plaguing this story. It also reeks of exaggeration. If a story has to be simple, it has to be truthful. This story is far from being truthful.To show the compassionate nature of the heroine’s character, the director shows a crow bringing her a glittering object at exactly a specified time everyday! This act of presenting a gift everyday, we are told, is the crow’s way of showing its gratitude to the heroine for her altruistic act of nursing it back to health when it was injured!
It keeps getting better and better! The hero, on seeing the crow expressing its gratitude to the heroine, declares with his voice quivering with excitement,”Which boy can show you such unconditional love?”
This apart, the regular feminist formulae is also employed in this story. To showcase the heroine’s goodness, the director portrays almost all of the hero’s friends (And it goes without saying that they are all men) as being insensitive and rude.
Story 3 is titled Turtles and is about Yashoda (Leela Samson), a spinster, who, to prove her love is strong and real, has stayed single all her life. However, the man she fell in love with has married and moved on.
Meanwhile, Navaneethan (Kravmaga Sreeram), a widower who sees Yashoda playing on a skating board falls instantly in love with her(!) How he tries to woo her is what the rest of the story is all about. The story is titled Turtles and moves at a snail’s pace. It is so painfully slow that you end up checking your watch at least a couple of times before it ends.
Story 4 and the final one of the anthology is a story titled Hey, Ammu. The team could have titled this one, Hey, Alexa! Yes, you guessed it right. The hero of this story is Alexa, Amazon’s device that uses speech recognition to perform an ever-growing range of tasks on command.
This is a story about a husband and wife with three children. Dhanapal (Samuthirakani) and Amudhini (Sunainaa) have been married for the last 12 years. Going on to explain their natures would be unnecessary. If you have watched enough films made by feminists, you’ll know how their characters would be fashioned. This one’s no different.
That’s right! The husband is an irresponsible, mean, self-centred man, who is obsessed with his work, often not paying attention to what his wife says.
On the other hand, Amudhini, like all wives in feminist films, is an epitome of sacrifice. She slogs from morning till night for the family, takes care of all three children, is a devout mother and an efficient administrator. In the night, she satisfies her husband’s carnal desires, even if she is tired.
She has a simple request to her husband! She wants to speak to someone as she stays alone all day. That too, this man can’t fulfill! So, one day after a heated fight, he chooses to gift her Alexa as a birthday gift to help address her loneliness problem! Amudhini is delighted. She names Alexa Ammu. How this piece of equipment brings about peace by making the husband realise his mistakes is what the story is about.
Pradeep Kumar’s music is exceptional. If the dialogues and the visuals help convey the story, it is his music that conveys the emotion.
The film has four cinematographers. Abinandhan Ramanujam, Manoj Paramahamsa, Vijay Karthik and Yamini Yagnamurthy. All four do a neat job of what is expected of them.