Critic’s Rating : 2.5 / 5
Kuthiraivaal Movie Review : Kalaiyarasan shines in this philosophical magic realism vehicle
Kuthiraivaal revolves around Saravanan (played by a brilliant Kalaiyarasan) and his quest to find out why he suddenly wakes up with a horse’s tail, and on the way, his existence in life. Saravanan’s universe is filled with colourful characters, almost magical yet just real enough—be it his whimsical neighbour Babu (Chetan), who speaks about his love for his dog and loneliness in the same breath, or the corner-side cigarette seller who sheepishly replaces loose change with candy. And if the characters are brimming with colour, giving them a run for their money are the frames, lensed beautifully by Karthik Muthukumar through dutch angles and wide shots.
Magic realism, the film’s genre is captured beautifully through its incredible mise-en-scene. And nothing that finds its way onto the frame is pointless—whether it is the view of the local trains outside his apartment, or the artsy MGR poster by his bed, everything has its reason and place in this film. The film, which is said to be loosely based on Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis, spends most of its time by giving audiences various theories on what the tail means. In his rat race to find his truth, Freud comes across imaginary and real characters who try to help him. This includes Vaanavil or Van Gogh (Anjali Patil), who is said to represent Mother Nature.
As much as the characters provide to the film’s genre, they come off as redundant and clutter the film’s journey. For instance, Vaanavil gives sermons on climate change, while Freud’s mathematician professor goes on about how math is nothing but an illusion theory. The wordy dialogue also doesn’t help the film’s case. While the film has its moments of imagery that lets you into another world as it unfolds on the big screen, Kuthirai Vaal gets lost in its tracks on the way, just as its protagonist often is.