Tamil film Mundasupatti is an entertaining rom-com, writes S Saraswathi.
Produced as a joint venture by CV Kumar’s Thirukumaran Entertainment and Fox Star Studios, Mundasupatti is yet another adaptation of a short film, by the same name, from the Nalaya Iyakkunar series (a reality talent hunt show for promising directors).
The film is directed by debutant Ram, the man behind the original, and stars Vishnu and Attakathi fame Nandita in the lead.
Kaali Venkat, who played the lead in the original, essays a significant role in the film.
Set in the backdrop of the 1980s, the film brings to light the superstitious belief among naïve villagers that taking a picture brings bad luck and reduces one’s life expectancy.
In a fictional village called Mundasupatti, the villagers are terrified of taking a picture. There is a flashback, which explains their irrational fear. The only time they tolerate a photographer in their midst is when someone in their community passes away.
Gopi (Vishnu) and his assistant Azhagumani (Kaali Venkat) are professional photographers, who run a studio called the Hollywood Studio in the town of Sathyamangalam. Gopi is invited to Mundasupatti to photograph the village headman, who is on his deathbed. It is here that Gopi meets and falls in love with Kalaivaani (Nandita). She is the headman’s granddaughter and is already engaged to be married to a local.
The village headman dies and the entire village is now intent on getting the photograph, which they need to perform the many after-death rituals. Unfortunately for Gopi, when the film is developed, the image is totally blurred.
The villagers are a violent bunch, and both Gopi and Azhagumani are scared to death. How they get out of this mess, and how Gopi uses their blind beliefs to cleverly manipulate them and eventually win the hand of Kalaivaani, forms the rest of the story.
Both Vishnu and Nandita seem perfectly at ease with their characters, but the romance seems rather halfhearted and unenthusiastic. Their scenes together are stilted, artificial and quite disappointing, especially when the film revolves around their love story.
Kaali Venkat adds to the comic elements, but the pick of the lot is without doubt Ramodoss, who plays Nandita’s uncle Muniskanth, an aspiring actor. Though his antics are highly exaggerated he managed to garner the most laughs.
Sean Roldan’s rustic songs and background score are definitely the highlights of the film, especially the folk styled Rasa Maharasa and the beautiful melody Idhu Enna.
PV Shankar, the man behind the camera, has captured the retro theme of the 80s -- the big hair, huge sunglasses, bell-bottoms, bulky camera and even the styles and mannerisms of the characters, creating the right ambiance for the film.
The villagers have been perfectly cast and their unreasonable fears and beliefs seem very real, leading to a lot of comic situations. Unfortunately the narration is extremely slow paced and the film too long, taking away some of the fun.
Despite its faults, Mundasupatti is a decent attempt by debutant D Ram Kumar.