Rajkamal Films' "Kurudhippunal" is the story of how an honest upright police official is forced to be in cahoots with a terrorist gang because of threats to his family and how he ultimately manages to get himself out of the mess. This film is a remake of a Hindi film, "Drohkaal", which was critically acclaimed. Drohkaal was made by Govind Nihalani and starred Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Seema Biswas and Adesh Vidhyarthi (who won the Best Supporting Actor national award for this film). I havent seen the original and so I am not qualified to comment on it. But since I had the good fortune to see such a movie here, I decided that I had to share it with others too.
Firstly, if you are going to expect a laff-a-minute riot comedy or a film in which the hero and heroine go around trees dancing away, wearing atrocious colours *Like a Blue Silk attire, in the way the princes in the stories of the Arabian Nights would have worn :-)*, the hero and heroine crying out their love in the form of songs, sidekicks to the hero who say "Sooper" when the hero asks "Aww is it ?", you are terribly off target.
"Kurudhippunal" is a serious film. Extremely serious I must add, and violent too ! There have been doubts as to whether the amount of violence shown in the film was required to get the message across. I agree with it to some extent. Maybe the violence was indeed too much. But then the makers of the film, Director PC Sriram and Dialogues/Screenplay Kamal Haasan probably felt that the violence was indeed necessary, something which could be debated upon till eternity. Kurudhippunal also stars Arjun, Nasser, Gouthami, Geeta, K Vishwanath, Nizhalgal Ravi and has stunts by Vikram Dharma and music by Mahesh
The story starts off with "Operation Dhanush", where a couple of cops are sent to infiltrate the terrorist gang headed by Badri. The main people behind this plan are Deputy Commissioner of Police, Adhinarayanan (Kamal) and his friend, Abbas (Arjun, not apna Arjun yaar !), who is also a senior police official (forget his post). The infiltrators are successful and they give a lot of information to Adhi and Abbas. But then one of them is found out while radioing a message and is done to death.
An attempt by the terrorists to sabotage a train is foiled when Kamal and Arjun arrest Nasser and shoot 'Nizhalgal' Ravi, who were to do the job. Nasser claims that he was but an accomplice in the crime and doesnt know much of it. But still he is imprisoned. One of the inspectors is in cahoots with Nasser & co. So Nasser gets constant info on what the plans are and is also able to give directions. A Central Minister visits the place for some work and he is assassinated. This was inspite of the route and plans for the minister being changed confidentially. But one of the people who was behind the assassination, a mercenary, is help captive and during his interrogation, he sees Nasser's photo and identifies him as Badri, the leader of the gang !
Now Nasser starts his game. He first threatens Kamal and asks him to join his gang. But when Kamal refuses, he shoots Kamal's dog and indicates that his son is next in line. Kamal is now in a fix for his family is at stake. Meanwhile during an interrogation session with Nasser, Nasser admits that the DIG Sreenivasan (played by K Vishwanath, director of many good movies like Sankarabharanam, Salangai Oli, Sippikkul Muthu, Eeshwar, Paasavalai etc.) was the mole and he was responsible for leaking out sensitive info to the militants. Kamal confronts the DIG who admits to doing it but to save his family. A CBI inquiry is launched but is cut short when the DIG commits suicide, a rather ghastly scene with the flesh and blood splattering onto the walls. An attempt is made on Kamal's sons' life. Kamal's insecurity builds and the scene when he shares his views with Gowthami is really good !
When the threats to his family increase, Kamal is forced to accept Nasser's conditions and allow him to escape from the prison. Also, a couple of the militants are to stay at Kamal's place to make sure that he isnt upto any tricks. Kamal has to agree and so Nasser stage manages an escape. Two militants also move into Kamal's place. When Arjun comes to know of Nasser's escape, he asks Kamal about what happened but when Kamal seems to be hiding something, he gets suspicious. Kamal is asked by Nasser to meet him at his hideout. Arjun follows Kamal there. But ultimately both of them land up there. The scene when Arjun finds Kamal there has been very well taken with the correct amount of emotions. Nasser asks about "Operation Dhanush" and who is in charge of it and threatens to kill Kamal's family if he wasnt told of "Operation Dhanush". Arjun intervenes and says that he is in charge. Now Nasser shifts focus to Arjun and Kamal is let away. Arjun is tortured for a long time but refuses to divulge anything. Nasser ultimately shoots him.
When he hears of Arjun's death, he resolves to break free from Nasser's clutches and demands to meet him. Then something goes wrong and he is held captive. Nasser now tortures him and asks him about "Operation Dhanush". Kamal's face is ghastly in this scene after the torture, with a couple of teeth missing and his face repaired beyond recognition ! Kamal refuses to divulge anything but when Nasser says that he has info on Operation Dhanush, Kamal looks at Nasser's henchman (who was one of the 2 infiltrators). Nasser realises that he is the infiltrator and is about to kill him when Kamal intervenes. Then follows a fight ending in Nasser's death. But by now Nasser's other men are breaking open the door. Kamal orders the cop-turned-infiltrator to shoot him so that "Operation Dhanush" wouldnt suffer. He complies and pumps in more bullets into Kamal than Beant Singh or Satwant Singh did into Indira Gandhi.
On the whole a good movie, good acting by everyone concerned. Kamal is good as usual. Arjun provides good support and this is probably his best acting performance to date. Nasser makes a really good villain and is no doubt at the peak of his acting prowess now. Gowthami, who plays Kamal's wife doesnt have much acting to do. Geetha (Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal) is Arjun's wife and doesnt have much work either. The bulk of the acting is done by Kamal and Nasser.
Stunts by Vikram Dharma are good, especially a scene in the railway station when Kamal leaps between 2 platforms with a train fast approaching. Music is by Mahesh (Nammavar). Not much work for him, the background score is hardly noticeable what with such a film going on in the foreground ! Dialogues by Kamal are good, some of them quite hard hitting. Direcion by PC Sriram is also good, thus proving that "Meera" (Vikram and Aishwarya) was taken in his sleep ;-)
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