The grand Valentine season offering has hit the screens. Marketed as a colourful romantic saga, Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal (MUK) is the perfect Valentine release if it fulfils all the promises that it holds; especially with the music already being popular. So, does it fulfil the promises?
MUK talks about the love of a couple and as the trailers might have told you, the lengths to which a lover can go for the love of his life. Telling the story of Ram and Charulatha, colleagues in an IT company, the movie tracks the growth of the romance; where things take an unexpected turn and go for the worse. It is tough to share more plot details without giving a few hints about a key element of the story; which would be a real big spoiler – therefore, the plot should be wrapped up here.
The most important thing about any romantic film is the chemistry between the lead pair and in the case of MUK that aspect is weak. The chemistry is certainly not crackling, neither is it all smoke without fire. But, it certainly should have been better. The growth of the romance also is a key factor for the audience to get hooked to the plot. In MUK, that too is a bit half-cooked. Touted as a romantic movie, we expect romance first and everything else next. Somehow, MUK seems to be more about obsession and retribution rather than romance and love.
Also, a romantic story endears itself only if we get a look into the minds of both the boy and the girl. Here, we get only a one dimensional perspective.
Let’s now see what MUK has to offer. It offers some very good visuals, exotic locales, resplendent frames reflective of rich production values, an earnest Atharva and Amala Paul, some good tracks by G.V.Prakash and a story that drifts between romance and obsession. The tale starts in India, travels all the way to America and then comes back to India. In the midst, there are quite a few twists and turns, a big surprise and a handful of antagonists. The problem with MUK’s story is that it tries to pack too many elements into itself. Especially, the antagonists brought into the story from USA seem forced in for some frenetic fight sequences only. And, another American mappillai is propped up and brought down in the process. The mother-son relationship too fails to evoke strong empathy or emotion in the minds of the audience. MUK is perhaps a case where the screen always looks resplendent while the screenplay looks languid. There are certain well depicted facts though, through some well shot scenes; like the use of drugs in night clubs and date rapes.
The visuals definitely keep the movie afloat throughout; especially the song scenes. All locations are fantastic. However, a couple of songs, especially the ‘Sokkupodi’ number, are major roadblocks in the screenplay. The dialogues don’t make much of an impact; neither in the romantic portions nor in the lines of the obsessed lover. There are odd instances of wit in the dialogue but they are few and far in between. Action has been designed to be of very high standards. But, how good can action get when the story fails to grab your attention. Also, some fights close to the climax look manufactured, especially the postures that Atharva strikes now and then. Santhanam has one of his rare sloppy shows; his comedy just doesn’t take off at any point.
Atharva proves that he can carry a movie on his shoulders. We can see the hard work put into his physique, looks and dance. Given the right opportunities, he can really shine. Amala Paul also does a good job. Jayaprakash makes his presence count in a limited role.
If MUK was designed as a visual treat, then the makers have very nearly succeeded in achieving their goal. But, a string of good visuals doesn’t make for a good movie. But, the vital factor of a lovable romance is missing in this love story. MUK seems to have space only for the obsession. Overall, it is a tale of uncompromising production values, technical strong points, earnest performances and sadly, a weak script.
Verdict: Technical & visual opulence overshadowed by weak script