Putham Pudhu Kaalai Vidiyaadhaa Review: A Pandemic Tale
Putham Pudhu Kaalai Vidiyaadhaa Review: A Pandemic Relatable Anthology
Cast: Arjun Das, Lijomol Jose, Gouri G Kishan, TeeJay Arunasalam, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Sananth, Dhilip Subbarayan, Nadiya Moidu, Joju George and many more
Directors: Halitha Shameem, Balaji Mohan, Richard Anthony, Surya Krishna, and Madhumita
Music directors: Sean Roldan, Goutham Vasu Venkatesan, Karthikeya Murthy, Kaber Vasuki, and Pradeep Kumar
Cinematographers: A Vasant, Raghav Adhithya V, Preetha Jayaraman, Mukes, and Vikas Vasudevan
Synopsis: This anthology is Putham Pudhu Kaalai’s second instalment in which five separate tales centre around relationships and emotions that have occurs during the Covid-19 Pandemic and lockdown scenarios.
When Putham Pudhu Kaalai launched on Amazon Prime Video on October 16, 2020, it seemed to usher in optimism in these uncertain times. Nonetheless, that anthology fell short of expectations, failing to depict the perils and tone of the time. It was good but for some reason people were not very convinced of the entire thing. As for me, I enjoyed 3 stories where the rest could have been done better. Now speaking of PPKV, I thought it would be compared to the first one. Unfortunately I only liked 2 stories out of 5.
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video
The first story is titled Mugakavasa Mutham by Dir Balaji Mohan. It was truly the shortest one amongst the rest. The story revolves around three police, Kuyili (Gouri Kishan), Farook (Kallori Vinoth), and Murugan (Teejay Arunasalam) are on a lockdown duty to keep an eye on people flouting lockdown protocols traveling.
This was a brief narrative. It feels more like a lame PSA on Covid awareness than an unique love tale between Kuyili and Murugan. They do assist a couple in reuniting who were separated due to parents and family issues, but this is done very easily. It might be as easy as Murugan grumbling about the lame food at dinner or hating his work because it is repetitive, and they have to be chastised by the public for imposing limits. These lighter motions could or might not work, but Balaji Mohan has made it work. Okay but still lame. Missing the Vaayai Moodi Pesavum writer in him. Sighs. Being so freaking short, this story could have been the last episode in the series.
The second story is Loners by Halitha Shameem. Now this woman is something else to be honest! I absolutely loved this story.
The work of writer-director Halitha Shameem finds hope in the thicket of loneliness that has engulfed numerous homebound folks throughout the epidemic. Over virtual conversations, Nallathangal (Lijomol Jose) and Dheeran (Arjun Das) form a bond.
Either way, Nallathangal is seated in a virtual conference with a saree draped over her pyjamas and her laptop running out of battery at a critical moment. Both Nalla and Dheeran are attempting to handle their grief in their own ways, but it keeps resurfacing in their heads, disrupting their whole lives. The conflict between them, as well as the daily video call talks, reminds us of our conversations with friends throughout the pandemic.
They are both intimidated when they decide to meet. Whenever they have a conversation, their chemistry works well and seems so natural on television that it doesn’t look contrived. The show perfectly captures how we are compelled to seek new shelter on the internet, socialize, and discover a kind of calm in loneliness that only loners can imbibe.
Third story is Mouname Paarvayaai. A couple whose marriage is in trouble has gone silent. Yashodha (Nadiya Moidu) and Murali (Joju George) converse via text messages and chalkboard instructions.
Nadiya and Joju bring their collective acting heft to a storey where intense emotions must be transmitted through facial expressions and gestures. Madhumita allows the performers to be themselves, gaining huge returns and overcoming the film’s tone shifts. The best part of the film was there was no single word spoken by both the characters. As quiet as it was, the message was still sent across and we could easily understand what was going on. Silence as the eye meets indeed. We definitely smiled at the end. I definitely loved this the best after Loners.
Surya Krishna’s episode titled The Mask, authored by S Guhapriya, shows that the mask does more than only guard against illness. Arjun (Sananth) is gay and is unable to inform his parents about his sexual orientation. Velu (Dhilip Subbarayan), an old school classmate, becomes an unusual partner in Arjun’s trip. The story is so vague and lame. They mixed up different ideas and it was so boring. Poor screenplay and no direction of the story. It could have been better in terms of Arjun coming out to his parents instead of fitting it in between a song.
Nizhal Tharum Idham was little bit off from the pandemic theme. As Shobi tries to cope with the loss of her father, she bristles at a neighbor’s generosity, seeks new companionship, and meets a stray dog.
Aishwarya Lekshmi, the lead actress, has a great sequence in which she eventually untangles the issues of her conflicted feelings. This episode, more than any other, is concerned with the complex process of recalling and forgetting memories and the past than the Covid-19 pandemic. Not quite pleased with the execution but brilliant acting by Aishwarya Lekshmi.
Source: Film Companion
On the whole, this anthology was a blunder. I would give it a 2/5 rating. The screenplay for other 3 movies could have been better.
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