Savarakathi: Mysskin’s Savarakathi is an oddly delightful comic ride
Movie Review by Annie Cynthia (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Mysskin has always been associated with emotional crime thrillers. His films are often focused upon the life of the people committing the crime and the victims with some flashes of humor thrown in here and there. But in his latest venture, Savarakathi, Mysskin experiments and enters into the realm of black comedy. He does manage to impress. The film is written and produced by the popular director. However, he hands over the directorial baton to his brother AR Adithya.
The story follows the story of a barber Pichai (Ram), his wife Subadhra (Poorna) and their two kids on their way to attend the wedding of Subadhra’s brother. While travelling, the family gets involved in a scuffle with a criminal gang and more directly with its leader, Manga. The latter, a psychopath, decides to go after Pichai and swears to cut his arms off.
A parallel film track also shows that Subadhra’s brother eloped with Kayal (Swathishta Krishnan), the daughter of a rich couple. The duo is on the run and are being pursued by goons of Kayal’s father. The crazy game of hide and seek played by Pichai’s family to escape Manga until he goes to jail in the evening, is what forms the crux of the film.
The film’s plot has a cool casual tone that immediately raises curiosity. Few sequences are shot almost like musical dramas purposely exaggerating the actions and emotions of the lead characters in a comical manner. The musical score by Arrol Corelli adds to create the perfect dramatic effect the director aims to create. Music is the soul of this film. Though there aren’t many songs (as is the case with most Tamil films), it doesn’t really affect the film’s pace. The song, Annandhu Paar is a refreshing number that puts across interesting life lessons.
Cinematography is top-notch with several uncanny shots and appropriately placed slow-motion sequences. As a debutante director, Adithya gives us a great film. Having worked as an assistant to R. Parthiban and Mysskin, he adds his unique touch to the film but you will also find essential Mysskin elements such as monologues, elaborate storyboard set-up and immense pathos.
Director Ram plays the protagonist, Pichai Moorthy, and gives another rousing performance post his highly appreciated, Thanga Meengal. He completely gets into the skin of the character through the way he emotes, walks and talks. Poorna has put much effort in her Subadhra, an innocent village woman. Her quirky way of speaking, the funny Tamil proverbs she cracks in her mastered Sivagangai slang, body language of a pregnant woman and her disdain towards her husband’s foolishness; she aces the act.
Mysskin gets to play the antagonist, Manga. His quirks and ruthless nature makes you hate him from the beginning but towards climax, you end up empathizing with him. His acting genius comes across in every frame and he delivers a memorable performance again after Nandalala. The rest of the characters provide ample support to the lead actors. Be it the mad nomad played by Shaji Chen, Swathishta Krishnan’s Kayal and Ashvath as Gautaman, one of Manga’s sidekicks; every single character stands out in the film.
The film has many memorable moments but a few of them stand out. For instance, when Pichai takes out his knife after being taunted, we expect violence, but what follows next is quite unexpected! Similarly, towards the end, Pichai sharpens his knife with his belt, again we expect violence, but how the knife is finally wielded takes the audience completely by surprise. A special mention to the beautiful song, Thangakathi Vellikathi that gives out the message of nonviolence.
The movie’s climax is beautifully choreographed with Corelli’s music in the background and the entire sequence is shot in slow-motion.
Despite being an out and out dark comedy, Savarakathi does tug at emotional chords towards the end and even ends up with a social message. Nevertheless, the movie is a delightful watch and gives us moments of laughter, fear, love, hate and a change of heart.