Mookuthi Amman on Disney+ Hotstar: Nayanthara and RJ Balaji star in a misfire about our relationship with religion

Posted on November 14, 2020


If Balaji wants to write a serious film about us and God, then that’s his prerogative. But this film, with its wild shifts in tone, never finds its footing.

Spoilers ahead…

Mookuthi Amman begins with an unexpected bit of lyricism, in a voiceover about how we know if God is happy with us, or how we know if God is angry with us. The lines involve pongal and cashew nuts, rain and schooldays — I thought RJ Balaji, who has directed this film with NJ Saravanan, was venturing into a direction very different from where he went with his last outing, the blockbuster satire LKG. A card at the beginning quotes a number of inspirations: “Bruce Almighty, Bedazzled, Groundhog Day, Wild Wild Country, The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, The Invention of Lying, Dogma, Oh My God, The Brand New Testament, and the filmography of directors Shankar and Rajkumar Hirani.” Maybe Balaji has put all these movies in a mixie and come up with a brand new formula!

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