Muthuramalingam: So bad that it became riveting at one point!

The release of some films gets delayed by weeks. Some films see their releases getting postponed for months. Some for years. But the release of ‘Muthuramalingam’, probably, has been overdue by 3 decades. 

A storyline older than the combined age of MK Stalin and Karunanidhi, the film carried the tagline of portraying the father-son relationship. The father’s role donned by Napoleon and hero, Gautham Karthick. There were other veteran actors and actress like Viji who played the mother’s role and Priya Anand, surprisingly, who chose to be part of this superficial snooze-inducing action drama.

You visit a doctor, she puts the stethoscope on your chest and requests you to breathe normally. All of a sudden, you become clueless, raise your eyebrows and wonder what is normal breathing. That was exactly how the director would have felt when he wrote the film- ‘what is film-making?’

The hero was introduced by a flying-in sequence that might put the powerpoint slide animation moves to shame, in a sombu-missing panchayat scene. Because he had to fight and head-butt a goat to win a bet. Basically dikkilona with the heads.

Roaring in a bellow of rage, hero looks at his mum, and tells her

“masala-araika solluma!”  

It took me about 7 minutes to come back to a stable condition. I laughed so much that I was actually worried that I might turn hysterical.  

In another scene, heroine challenged the hero in a modified-supplings game where she laid facing down on the ground. Hero had to lift her from the ground and toss her to face up. The story had more obstacle courses than a physically-demanding military training camp. Hero tried all different tactics but couldn’t turn her around. In the end, hero touched her waist. She became angry. Music started. Love started. My headache started as well.

Priya Anand, despite being, a school-student in this film spent most of her time in extra-curricular activities ie) flirting and dancing with hero. One day, she visited the hero where he was practising silambam. In an attempt to learn silambam, she walked towards him, leaned against his torso and touched the silambam that he was holding.

In the name of practical teaching, he brushed her breasts fortuitously. And the camera zoomed in to capture hero’s surprised reactions and heroine’s feelings of pleasurable arousal or what-kandraavi-reaction that was. He pushed her away, signalling that he was a man of dignity. While pushing her away, he accidentally cut his finger with the sharp silambam. Tomato-sauce-like blood (even the make-up department screwed up) oozed out from his forefinger. He started panicking like as though someone told him to go and watch this film! He, who was portrayed as a macho man of the village and someone who could fight against the goat and apparently a master of silambattam, became petrified and yelled at her, “please take a cloth! Please take a cloth”

The camera panned to the right to reveal the shot where the heroine, instead of picking up the cloth to wipe his bleeding finger, was actually sucking his forefinger. I didn’t know who/what sucked more. The heroine or the film? What makes a film so appalling that it transitions from ordinary ineptitude into the sublime; beyond cult status (and all reason) and into that surreal place where you really can’t believe what you’re watching?

There was no effort in any department of filmmaking, and we were just left with the unbearable sights and a passionless execution from the director trying a Devar Magan here. Not every village-subject film can be a Devar Magan, but is a little quality control too much to expect? 

‘Muthuramalingam’ is riddled with continuity errors, disconnected tangents, amateur acting, and cringe-inducing dialogues that reminded of me lollu sabha’s ‘veppena, mannena, vilakena’ line.  Why is the average Tamil film so disturbingly underwhelming in terms of form? Things can go erroneous with the storyline or characterisation, but shouldn’t there be at least some elementary technical competence? Why do only a handful of our filmmakers honestly care about these things?

The heroine flirtatiously replied the hero- “sirika therinjavanuku singam kooda snegithem aagum”

And for once, can all Tamil directors stop using animal references in your film? We are totally uninspired by your singam, puli, sura, kuruvi and other endangered and extinct animals references anymore. We had enough.

Towards what-it-seemed-like the end of the movie after 4.5 hours, the police dragged Napoleon, the hero’s dad, by his boomerang-look-alike thick moustache. The hero flew in for the 47th time, pounced, leapt and slashed the police’s hand. 

After which, hero started lecturing about the century-old connection between every strand of moustache hair and courageousness of his villagers and gave examples of Bharati and Veerapanidya Katta Bomman. I was wondering if the police were screaming in pain because of the wound or the hero’s non-stop verbal diarrhoea.

Bloating in self-pride and the fact that bravery was being freshly brewed in the amazon-jungled moustache, in the next scene, the hero and his dad advised all the men in the village to hide somewhere, fearing that the police might come back again.

A head-spinningly awful film that carried an uneven tone that shilly-shallied between sickle-flying actions and downright unintentionally funny scenes, to be honest, it was so-bad-they were good.