Feb 27 2017


Published by at 11:04 pm under Review,Tamil Cinema


Notwithstanding the weak critical and commercial reception it got, Manirathnam’s Kadal was definitely a dream debut for Gautham Karthik since it got him noticed. But based on the scripts he has been selecting since then, the actor seems determined to become the poster boy for actors whose career takes a sharp nose dive after starting off with a strong debut. His latest film Muthuramalingam continues the downward trajectory of his career. If anything, it makes the fall seem steeper.

Muthuramalingam(Gautham Karthik), is the much loved son of Mookiah(Napoleon). Muthuramalingam is really good at the art of silambam and gets the chance to display his expertise at a couple of places. Gautham acquits himself well at this but comes up short pretty much everywhere else. His punchlines are laughable and this is due to both his inability to deliver them convincingly as well as the quality of the lines themselves. But he does have a moment referring to his lineage when dances to Amaran‘s Vethala Poatta Shokkula….

But before we know about Muthuramalingam’s silambam skills, we learn that he is also really good at headbutting. We get an absurd intro scene where he headbutts a goat(!) and a couple of scenes where he vanquishes others using the same skill. But its not all for fighting. He once renders his lover Viji(Priya Anand) unconscious when he inadvertently knocks her on the head and the way he and his dad express affection is by gently hitting their heads together(that’s all the dad asks for when Muthuramalingam is leaving him). With all this headbutting, the film might as well have been named Mutturamalingam!

Mookiah sports a voluminous mustache and the reason soon becomes clear since the film is obsessed with mustaches. It has a few dialogs that associate them with manliness but it doesn’t stop there. It goes to silly lengths with a cop hauling Mookkiah by his mustache and Muthuramalingam chopping the cop’s hand off for insulting his father. But the silliest moment comes later when Muthuramalingam, with his pencil-thin mustache, lets a policeman go, telling him that he didn’t kill him because of his mustache!

With Mookaiah and Muthuramalingam going into hiding, the film shows some signs of coming to life. But with Vivek showing up as the cop assigned to bring them in, the suspense is channeled into comedy. His antics and jokes barely raise any laughs because of the situation(we are supposed to believe that the cops are looking for Muthuramalingam without a single photo to actually identify him. But the track still fares better than Singampuli’s horrendous track in the first half that saw him wander around with a vessel with a human head hidden inside).

The film’s main conflict is introduced abruptly just before the intermission but the opportunity it affords for drama is not followed up well either. The main revelation is easy to guess(the other two possible choices have no emotional heft) and though it leads to sentiments, it doesn’t evoke any emotions since the relationship between the characters until then has not been shown strongly enough to warrant those sentiments. The villain’s act behind the whole thing in the flashback doesn’t make a lot of sense either. There is a small twist that sets up an interesting conflict between two characters but that is revealed in a matter-of-fact way and so has no impact also.

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Muthuramalingam”

  1. Sandya says:

    Mutturamalingam… it is! 😀 😀 😀 You have to remember how Karthik started his career and how many debacles it took before he arrived at Mouna Ragam and Agni Natchathiram. The time will come for Gautham, Balaji.. but until then, it will be one disaster after the next! 😉 (This is pretty much the way things went for Vijayakumar too! His youth was extremely troubled in the film world, but by the time he hit his 40s/50s, things really started looking up! At least by that scale, Arun Vijay is faring far better!) :)

  2. Ramesh says:

    Hahaha, ever since seeing the mindboggling trailer – I’ve been looking for reviews of this film – as some mainstream sites /papers just haven’t bothered. Thank you for this and your extreme patience.

    The film’s soundtrack (despite being composed by Ilaiyaraaja, with lyrics by the late Panchu Arunachalam and a song sung by Kamal Haasan) surprisingly didn’t have a release either. Priya Anand’s interview with Sreedhar Pillai also seemed like she was secretly hoping that this film would never see the light of day.

  3. Prasad says:

    Mutturamalingam….!! I opened your site almost hoping to see the Oscar post.. Quite a surprise you pulled. Not just for that, but rather for choosing a movie like this. With “Enakku Vaaitha Adimaigal” earlier and this one now, you trying some trend?

  4. Jordan says:

    Aiyo Balaji, can’t believe you took the time to see this! Hero butts his head with a goat, come on! So much for creativity. Apparently, film is going to get banned in Tamil Nadu or something – great escape for the audience!

  5. Balaji says:

    Sandya, true but I think the film industry is a lot more brutal and unforgiving these days compared to then. And the competition is a lot more too. A few more Muthuramalingams and Gautham will find it really difficult to make a comeback like his dad.

    Ramesh, the soundtrack was below average, so the lack of a release isn’t a surprise. Kamal singing the song is shown during the end credits btw.

    Prasad, for the first time in many years, didn’t watch the Oscars since daughter had a dance program. Hence the lack of the traditional Oscars post.

    Jordan, yeah read about the ban. Usual financial troubles apparently. Those involved with the film are probably secretly celebrating :)

  6. Harish says:

    Even I was wondering why BB would bother writing a review. I think I know why! The MUTTU-RAMALINGAM got stuck in his head and the only release was this review!!!!

    @sandya, interesting you mention AV. Very true, he has really managed to get into B+ to A list directors. I hear Kuttram 23 is pretty well made too (although with arivazhagan at helm, that isn’t surprising).

  7. Sandya says:

    Harish, after Yennai Arindhaal, he feels much weight on his shoulders to prove himself in a proper fashion. I’ve always thought he was more dashing and appealing than daddy dearest. If he keeps up this trajectory, he could become the next most dependable Vijay Antony of Tamil Cinema but with some acting skills! ???