Release Date : Sep 13,2013
Moodar Koodam
Review by : Behindwoods Review Board
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Production: White Shadows Productions
Cast: Anupama Kumar, Jayaprakash, Oviya
Direction: Naveen
Screenplay: Naveen
Story: Naveen
Background score: Natarajan Sankaran
Cinematography: Tony Chan
Editing: Athiyappan Siva
Singers: KJ Yesudas, Naresh Iyer, Natarajan Sankaran, Naveen, Raginisri, SP Charan, Sricharan, Srinivas, Subiksha Richray
Lyrics : Mahakavi Bharathiyar, Naveen, Subiksha Richray, Vidwan Ve.Lakshman
Distribution: White Shadows Productions

Released under Director Pandiraj’s Pasanga Productions, Moodar Koodam marks the directorial and acting debut of Pandiraj’s former assistant Naveen. Moodar Koodam is a film with dark humor that attempts to trace the fine line between winners and losers.

The film is essentially about the acquaintance of four random guys who are down on their luck and their attempt to strike gold overnight. The rest of the story builds on a series of unexpected events and parallel topics that factor into their heist.

First of all, kudos to Naveen and Pandiaraj to believe in a project like Moodar Koodam. Dark humor is a genre which should be wholeheartedly welcomed in Tamil in this era of new wave cinema.

As a writer Naveen begins well with the character introductions and designs and for the most part he leaves the audience with a lingering thought in many scenes, attributed by the dialogues that he himself utters. Though designed to play on populism, the dialogues do manage to accomplish what it set out to do, garner claps.  

As a director, Naveen is able to extract what he wants for his story barring some of the hostage sequences that feel like stage dramas. The film has its best moments when the action moves outside the house, like the several backstories and the North Chennai episodes. The influence of Tarantino is highly evident in the way he purposefully inserts backstories at calculated moments in the narration - which are presented as short and refreshingly imaginative music videos. The pre-climax and the climax too seem like a ‘tribute’ to Guy Ritchie.

As far as performances go Naveen again leads from the front with his sharp dialogue delivery and screen presence. Sendrayan, playing Sendrayan, being one of the key contributors to comedy in this film is mostly caricatured and is able to pull it off rather successfully, likewise for the experienced burglar ‘Maiyls’. Rajaji as ‘White’ and Kuberan as Kuberan have etched out decent performances, leaving little or no room for error. Jayaprakash is apt as the confused hostage whereas Anupama plays his silly wife. Oviya has little to contribute through performance. The kids in this film definitely deserve a praiseworthy mention, specially the little girl who gives Jayaprakash a tough time on the phone.

Natarajan Sankaran’s music excites you with its adventurous tone. All his songs used during flashbacks gel well with the mood of the movie. Tony Chan’s camera work shines through in a few places like the initial Sendrayan chase sequence.

Negative of Moodar Koodam is that as the story progresses indoors, Naveen loses his grip by having one too many redundant scenes. Impractical characters like the software engineer, Salim Bhai, Auto Kumar and Wakka from North Chennai also doesn’t help the movie maintain its momentum. Doing away with few of these unfunny moments could have greatly trimmed the length of the film which clocks at around 2 hours and 30 minutes. Dark or white, comedy movies are meant to engage and entertain and thats where trimming down the length would have greatly helped Moodar Koodam. Also, while the film had traces of adult humor it would have been bolder if the expletives hadn’t been sacrificed for the sake of the ‘U’ certification.

If few exaggerated sequences were avoided with a tighter writing, Moodar Koodam could have delighted the audience even more, but the movie further consolidates the surge of the new wave in the industry.

Verdict: Moodar Koodam will definitely need your patience, but give it a shot because it is dark, different, serious, silly and an attempt which should be encouraged.
( 2.75 / 5.0 )



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