Let me be clear, Soodhu Kavvum is not a classic or a path breaking movie but it will end up as one of the well made movies of 2013.
For me, this May Day's first choice movie was Soodhu Kavvum against Ethir Neechal and Moondru Per Moondru Kadhal (after Nagaraja Chozhan MA MLA opting out of the race, it was a no-brainer) just because of Nalan Kumarasamy. I have been following him since his Nalaya Iyakkunar days and I was pretty sure this movie would not be a bad choice.
Soodhu Kavvum is a movie about 4 guys who accidentally meet during a brawl at a TASMAC wine shop. They come together and start a “kidnapping” business based on the rules made by Dass (Vijay Sethupathi). Pagalavan (Simhaa) and Sekhar (Ramesh Thilak) along with Dass create a successful business without getting caught. Kesavan (Ashok Selvan) who is initially reluctant joins them later. One of their victim's father contacts them to do a kidnapping. He wants them to kidnap Gnanadoyam's (MS Bhaskar) son Arumai Prakasam (Karuna Karan). The only problem is that Gnandoyam is the finance minister of Tamil Nadu. Confusion follows and rest of the movie deals with how these four get out of this mess.
Ah, I can hear someone asking where does the girl fit in. I am not going to spoil that surprise. Although the story might sound familiar, where Soodhu Kavvum scores is the way it is made. Nalan bamboozles you with a brilliant screenplay with genuinely funny sequences that will definitely tickle your senses. It's a reprieve from idiotic movies in recent times that solely rely on dialogues of comedy artists. The wonderful casting ably supports Nalan in this quest. Vijay Sethupathi as middle aged Dass with broken English makes a riot on screen with Sanchita Shetty's (Shalu – What a debut!) support. Simhaa, Ramesh Thilak, Ashok Selvan and Karuna Karan completely bowl you over with their acting. Even the smallest of characters fit in perfectly in to the stream of things. For instance the lady who acts as MS Bhaskar's wife, Yog Jappi as Police Officer Brahma are pretty impressive.
Santhosh Narayanan is quirky with the songs (some may like, some may not but we have only one full length song in the movie) but he matches his brilliant background score of Pizza.
Nalan makes an impressive debut with Soodhu Kavvum. As he has used unknown actors, we are always on the edge. He also comes up with sweet surprises with respect to scene compositions. The only negative fact I could think is the choice of story. I expected a better choice based on his track record on Nalaya Iyakkunar. But I am sure, he will give some wonderful movies in the future.
I am going with 3.5/5 and a must watch for Soodhu Kavvum. I bet you will enjoy this laughter ride.
P.S. Nalan.. I missed Shalu in the second half. It was not complete without her.