The stark simplicity of the dialogues, the well-etched characters, the intriguing plot, the captivating music, the cinematography, but most of all the brilliant twist at the end makes Director Balaji K Kumar’s Vidiyum Munn a must watch, says S Saraswathi
Artist, photographer, visual designer, writer, director and producer, Balaji K Kumar is a man of many talents. This Chennai-born, Los Angeles based filmmaker is already a name to reckon with in Hollywood. His Twelve twisted tricks won him the Golden trailer award in 2002; while his film 9 lives of Mara, a cult classic,received a tremendous response and went on to receive a host of awards.
Balaji makes his debut in Tamil cinema with Vidiyum Munn starring Pooja Umashankar and child artist, Malavika Manikuttan.
Vidiyum Munn is a suspense thriller that revolves around a sex worker who puts her life in danger to protect an innocent 12-year-old from the clutches of pimps and prostitution.
Rekha (Pooja Umashankar), a professional sex worker, is brainwashed by her pimp Singaram (Amarendran), into getting hold of a 12-year-old to service a high-end client. Though reluctant at first, she is lured by the money and the prospects of a better life.
But even as she escorts an unsuspecting Nandhini (Malavika Manikuttan) to the client, she is filled with guilt. Her conscience troubles her so much that she decides to save the girl and escapes from the city with her, but not before something goes terribly wrong.
Now a bunch of ruthless killers want to hunt them down. Who are these men and why are they chasing two hapless females is what forms the rest of the story.
Pooja, who was last seen as a blind beggar in Bala's Naan Kadavul makes her comeback in Tamil cinema after a four-year hiatus. She once again proves her versatility by her realistic portrayal of a seasoned sex worker who is resigned to her fate.
But it is young Malavika Manikuttan, who steals the show. Her character is quite complex, requiring her to be bold, street-smart and defiant, while at the same time appearing vulnerable and innocent too.
There are no dramatic flashback scenes to explain how Pooja and Malavika Manikuttan are caught in this dangerous web, but their quiet acceptance of the most horrifying events perhaps reveals even much more.
Vinoth Kishan, as Chinnaiah, one of the villains, appears absolutely terrifying with his compelling eyes and just a handful of monosyllabic dialogues. Then there is Mani (Muthukumar), Devanayagi (Lakshmi Ramakrishnan) and John Vijay as Lankan, every one fits into their role perfectly and the results are impressive.
Music by Girishh Gopalakrishnan is sensational; it helps create the atmosphere heightening every emotion, and maintaining the suspense and thrill. Cinematographer Sivakumar Vijayan, a debutant, has shot most of the scenes at night in dimly lit locations that intensify the story and provide the right ambience.
The only minus would be the length and the lack of pace, despite of the deadline of 24 hours, you don’t feel the clock ticking, the sense of urgency is missing. But that takes nothing away from the anticipation and thrill you feel as each scene slowly unfolds itself.
Director Balaji undoubtedly is at the top of his game, narrating a tale filled with emotions; greed, lust, fear and desperation set in the backdrop of a cruel and aggressive world, where people only look out for themselves, it is either kill or be destroyed yourself.
The stark simplicity of the dialogues, the well-etched characters, the intriguing plot, the captivating music, the cinematography, but most of all the brilliant twist at the end makes Director Balaji K Kumar’s Vidiyum Munn a must watch.