Kootathil Oruthan is a story about an average guy, someone who never gets noticed even by his own classmates. A loner by nature with a constant fear within him. How a character like this falls in love with a girl who is the exact opposite of him and how life changes is Kootathil Oruthan all about. This simple story is told with a lot of emotional drama and also with a few messages.
The initial parts of the film are more likely to connect with the majority as a lot of us would have gone through similar situations in our personal lives. Though we have seen a lot of films about an underdog, this film deals a comparatively different terrain. But towards the pre-interval point, the story changes shape. One might not find the connect that they had with the film till then from that point.
One feels in the attempt to show the lead as an average, the director has literally made the character invisible to his peers which look a little too dramatic at places. Maybe since the story travels through the lead’s perspective, we could understand that his situation could have been glorified even more. But would a parent leave his/her son to suffer? Maybe, a little more of the parent’s viewpoint could have made it more neutral. End of the day you are talking about a common man, but the guy in the film suffers more than what an ordinary man suffers.
The best thing about this movie is that an average guy doesn’t make it big by just one moment or scene. He doesn’t get refined by anyone but by sheer experience. That part is handled with such maturity and genuineness.
Ashok Selvan needs to take a lion’s share of credit for enacting the transition so well. Priya Anand gets a meaty role after a long time. She makes an impact not for her pretty looks but also for her subtle performance. The supporting cast is good; Balasaravanan gives us a couple of soft laughs and is never annoying which in itself is a credit. Added to that Marimuthu who plays Ashok Selvan’s father deserves a mention for managing to pull off a strict dad’s role.
While some would accuse the film of sentimentality, audiences, who don’t feel the need to appear rigorous and tough-minded all the time, will appreciate it. By the end of the movie, you will feel a whole heap of emotions. Maybe the director could have found a balance of sentimentality, harshness, darkness and light.
One cliche that could annoy some would be the wedding scene that comes in the pre-climax. Seriously, there are other ways to up the tempo in the climax why still do it the old school way?
One person helps the narration big time is Nivas Prasanna, his music only elevates the situation and never looks over the top. Similarly, Leo John Paul’s editing and Varma’s cinematography are of great support to the script.
On the whole, Kootathil Oruthan is not just bitter or sweet but everything in between as well. It has the elements of an emotionally gripping story. It is absorbing but also has its share of template drama which at times gets a little overwhelming.
Verdict: Kootathil Oruthan is a feel good film that ends with a much needed social message