Review: Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam

Raghava Lawrence dons the cowboy hat in Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam.

Hilarious first half, dampening second half – Tamil Cinema is dying of commercialism overdose

Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam (U)

Director: Chimbu Deven

Starring: Raghava Lawrence, Lakshmi Rai, Padmapriya, Sandhya, Nasser and Radha Ravi

Genre: Western-Spoof

Rating: *

The antagonist has always met his fate in the hands of the protagonist. This has branded climax scenes in World Cinema. A few filmmakers wanted the protagonist to stay out of trouble because you’re arrested if you commit murder and no film could possibly end with the protagonist going to jail. But, that doesn’t mean no filmmaker has tried sending his protagonist to jail. The modern age has brought forth some new changes and hence, we witness “cinema verité”.  The antagonist needn’t die in the hands of the protagonist. All we want is just to see the antagonist die. Who cares on who pulls the trigger or sticks the knife. You want the antagonist dead and that’s what you get. In Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam, the antagonist is killed by his own protégé.

Chimbu Deven’s third directorial venture is a spoof film set in the cowboy world. Although set in the 18th century, the characters talk about Jayashankar, M.G.R and Clint Eastwood. Don’t fret readers, I’ll say it again. This is a spoof movie. Just laugh it off.

Although your cowboy expectations are satisfied, the unexpected spoofs boost your expectations.  There are villages called Jayashankarapuram, Sholaypuram and USApuram. In Sholaypuram’s magistrate court, the picture of Gandhi has been replaced by Amitabh Bachchan. The “Mother of Truth” carries a beer mug instead of the scales and you swear on Amitabhji before testifying.

Jayashankarapuram has a statue of Jayashankar which happens to be unveiled by Clint Eastwood. Irumbu Kottai is a prison which looks like Attica from the outside. The antagonist runs the jail and his name is Kezhakku Kattai (Tamil word for Eastwood) and he speaks more in English and less in Tamil. That’s because the prison is located in USApuram, the enemy’s village.  Nasser’s portrayal of Kezhakku Kattai is similar to his portrayal of Rice Plate Reddy in Quick Gun Murugan, another cowboy spoof film. Why have all modern generation cowboy films become spoofs?

The film has a promising start. But, humor alone doesn’t help. You need sensitivity in any film. When Vijay (graphically) jumped from a building to the train in Kuruvi, it killed my sensitivity and I knew what was coming. Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam will leave you twitching and unsatisfied. The protagonist shoots faster than his shadow and runs like Capt. Jack Sparrow. While G.V. Prakash Kumar’s songs are dull, Sabesh-Murali’s background score is appalling. The Pirates of the Caribbean theme has been used five times in this movie. Is it copyrighted?

Humor takes its toll and you keep laughing every minute. But, is laughter alone enough? Some dialogues make you twitch. This includes the old man asking if he can fart noisily or the baddies claiming to rape the ladies of the town and not be blamed for it. How could one possibly brand a movie like this as a family entertainer?

Raghava Lawrence as the protagonist fares well. As a funny guy, he tickles the bones with some quirky dialogues. Radha Ravi as Olakkai, Kezhakku Kattai’s henchman seems to have invaded humor. But, why does he overact? Is it because this is a spoof? M.S. Bhaskar, Sams and Sandhya play Red Indians. M.S, Bhaskar and Sams help with the humor while you’d call Sandhya as miscast. Padmapriya seems to lose herself in there and proves nothing at all.

I seem to pose a lot questions in this review. This is because I was uncomfortable in my seat. I had my head in my palm every once in a while. This is not the kind of movie you’d put your money on.

Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam is a terrible film. Everything except humor fails. For the record, everything except humor and Lakshmi Rai’s item song fail.

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