Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan’s well-intentioned ‘Thalaikoothal’ is a drama that stays at an arm’s length

Posted on February 4, 2023


Spoilers ahead…

Samuthirakani is one of our best actors, but even he cannot find many shades to the one-dimensional martyr he’s asked to play.


Over the opening credits of Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan’s new film – Thalaikoothal – we hear a woman screaming: Idhu enna veeda aaspathiri-ya? It’s an entirely fair question. The woman’s name is Kalai (Vasundhara), and her husband, Palani (Samuthirakani), seems to care more for his comatose father than his family, which includes a daughter. The most moving scene in the film is when Kalai runs into Palani outside their home, and looks guilty. Her father has just paid Palani a visit, and suggested that he kill the old man through the practice of thalaikoothal. Kalai, now, wants Palani to know this was not her idea. She is sick of her husband’s devotion to his father, and she complains that he smells of the old man’s piss and shit. But this, she would never ask him to do. Anybody who has tended to a sick relative will be able to empathise with Kalai at this point.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil