Kodiveeran: A Tiresome Film Driven By an Age Old Formula
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Director Muthiah’s Kodiveeran is driven by an age-old, exhausted formula. For instance, in most scenes, the hero effortlessly wields the power to destroy a flock of gangsters bearing flying machetes, while the hero’s family often mouths his praise through cheesy dialogues. Lastly, all it takes for the heroine to fall in love with him is a demonstration of his fearlessness. By the time Kodiveeran gets done with its plethora of tried and tested hero introductions, you begin to feel tired and let down.
Kodiveeran (Sasikumar) and his sister Parvathi (Sanusha) are the protectors of their village. Their actions represent valor and righteousness. Villanga Vellaikkaaran (Pasupathy) and his sister (Poorna) on the other hand are the village goons who are involved in one too many cut-throat murders. A clash of interest between these two clans arises when Kodiveeran’s sister gets engaged to a government officer being hunted by Vellaikaaran. From here on, the film traces a typical journey of how righteousness surpasses evil.
Director Muthiah’s tendency to recycle and reuse old formulas proved to be acceptable in films like Kutti Puli and Komban. But in Kodiveeran, the director goes overboard by combining old-school storytelling tactics, clichéd hero worshipping sequences and gaudy songs. Due to this tendency to overdo, you will feel tiresome, bored and restless merely twenty minutes into the film. Every time Kodiveeran throws in a punch, tires fly about everywhere just as a cheesy theme song plays on in the background, making at least ten characters in the frame gasp. How many times have we seen this sort of an introduction shot in Tamil Cinema? Why not bring a fresher perspective into the film?
Apart from being obnoxiously loud, most characters in the film also moonlight as Kodiveeran’s cheerleaders. In fact, most of these characters appear two dimensional; some are even named after the only emotions they’re allowed to exhibit. For instance a character named Adhigaaram (domineering) is only allowed to be domineering. Where is the writer’s imagination? If these characters had a grey area rather than merely being classified into good or bad, their back-story and personality would’ve been much more convincing. But due to the absence of realistic character sketches, the emotions of these characters appear plastered.
Another infuriating aspect of Kodiveeran is its rhyming dialogues. Every now and then, cheesy punch lines make their way into the screenplay, destroying the very essence of the story. Whether it is rhyming Annan (brother) with Kannan (Lord Krishna) or Meenu (Fish) with Neenu (You), this kind of shabby presentation provides the audience with plentiful scope for experiencing unintentional comedy. Many crucial scenes in the film, including the fascinating interval block could’ve received the attention it deserved if the writer had watered down the clichéd dialogues.
Two other elements that seemed too over the top in Kodiveeran are its exaggerated sister sentiments and unwarranted hero introduction shots. Rather than opting to portray a realistic brother-sister bond as in the case of ‘Meyaadha Maan’, Director Muthiah takes the ‘Samuthiram’ route as he dramatizes all emotions to an unreasonable scale.
Just like Siruthai Siva’s ‘Vivegam’, Kodiveeran too makes the mistake of investing too much of its running time in introducing and re-introducing its hero. One minute, you are exposed to an unbearably long, slow-motion shot of Kodiveeran’s heroic walk and the next minute you see him effortlessly shatter a stack of bricks. Such constant re-establishment makes the film quite a tiresome experience.
As Kodiveeran, Sasikumar delivers a repetitive performance. His body language and scale of emotions are the same as his last three films Vetrivel, Kidaari and Balle Vellaiyathevaa. His dancing skills too require an immediate upgradation. Playing Vellaikaaran’s sister, Poorna proves to be quite an intimidating antagonist.
As Kodiveeran’s love interest, Mahima Nambiar doesn’t make much of an impression. Even the reasoning behind her character’s interest in the hero seems too juvenile. Even though Sanusha receives reasonable screen time, she throws it away by hamming her way through most of the film. Unfortunately, Pasupathy’s renowned acting skills are wasted in a two dimensional character such as Villanga Vellaikaaran.
Music director N.R. Raghunanthan’s tracks are nothing out of the ordinary. ‘Ayyo Adi Aathe’ sounds like a rehashed version of D Imman’s songs and the film’s BGM reminds you of the million folk songs that followed ‘Kangal Irandaal’.
S.R Kathir’s cinematography feels garish and time-worn. He should consider a much more innovative approach in the future.
On the whole, sitting through the tiresome, predictable and outdated Kodiveeran proves to be quite a strenuous experience.