Putham Pudhu Kaalai: Dull Dawn


I have read even popular writers used to tell it is difficult to write a crisp short story than writing a lengthy novel; because the creator has to bring a knot within a few pages and untie them by the end. Similarly, making a short film running for just 15 or 20 minutes and convey the message within that limited period is an expert job.

Prime video had released an anthology on ‘Covid19 and the subsequent Lockdown’ through five short movies written and directed by the popular personalities in the cine field today; Sudha Kongara, Gautham Menon, Suhasini Maniratnam, Rajiv Menon and Karthick Subbaraj. Well, all are big names and naturally the expectations also run high before watching the product.

The performers are also popular ones. We have Jairam, Urvashi, MS Baskar, Suhasini, Anu Hassan, Shruti Hassan, Kathadi Ramamurthy, Leela Samson, Sikkil Gurucharan, Andrea and Bobby Simha with a few others.

The five stories supposedly deal with the human emotions and foibles. In the first ‘Ilami Ido Ido’ an elderly man and a woman with grown up son and daughter stealthily wanted to meet and rejuvenate their relationship. Because of the pandemic the 2-day affair turns into 21 days. What next?

‘Avarum Naanum / Avalum Naanum’ describes the tale of a lonely aged physicist due to his break up with his daughter who married against his wish. He has to be with his new gen granddaughter during lock down. Does The stay clear the misunderstandings?

‘Coffee, Any One’ deals with the adamant old father who prefers to keep his wife in comatose at home with special personal care without the usual medical support system. His daughters arrive to greet their mom on her 75th birthday. What happens really to the lady in coma?

An ultra-modern new gen bartender cum bar singer accidentally lands in and forced to stay with her school mate’s home because of lockdown. The school mate is a doctor and his mom is an acute arthritis patient. The unexpected turn here is the girl is a drug addict. When the doctor and his modern mom come to know of it what happens is the story of ‘Reunion’.

‘Miracle’ is a dark comedy about a failed film director and two petty thieves who expect some miracle to happen to bring them money. The film is shot in the dark with dark people almost fully.

If the pandemic and lockdown is the focal point of these stories some don’t fit into that.

The performers are well known faces and fortunately the scenes are not like the tele serials.  The houses look opulent and aesthetic unlike in the present day Tamizh movies where always the village, dirt and squalor are highlighted in their crudest form.

The major problem with these films are their lack of grip. The oldies trying to behave like young lovers, the headstrong granddad’s extra sweetness with his granddaughter, the boisterous behavior of the grown up daughters, the bonhomie of the mother and son to the drug addict and the uncouth loudness of the last episode really got on my nerves. Sorry.

Our media who never fails to go hammer and tongs when it is a social or political issue, go overtly soft, sweet and sober when they have to review movies with popular names. That is what had happened to this otherwise dull dawn titled as ‘Putham Pudhu Kaalai’.


More by :  G Swaminathan

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