Doing a remake seems to be the latest trend in Indian cinema. Quite a few of them have become a brand by themselves and the original is followed by sequels. Joining the list of remakes is 'Murattu Kaalai'. Remember in 1980s came 'Murattu Kaalai' that featured Superstar Rajinikanth in the lead role and was directed by S P Muthuraman.
The movie set a new trend in Tamil cinema as it was a heady mix of commercial cocktail and came at a time when the likes of Mahendran, Rudraiah, K Balachander and Bharathiraja made movies close to reality.
The rural tale of an angry young man caught the admiration of the masses. Exactly after 32 years comes its remake. This time actor - director Sundar C slips into the shoes of the Superstar. Selvabharathy, who is known for his comical entertainers, dons the mantle of director. With a winner in hand, his job is very simple. It can be said that he has partially succeeded in his endeavor. He has made few changes in the script to suit the contemporary audience and served the much savored dish in a fresh plate, though at places it leaves one with a bad taste.
In a sense comparing the new version of 'Murattu Kaalai' with the Rajni starrer is like comparing a mole and the mount. But with due respect to the hard work and dedication put in by the team, 'Murattu Kaalai' is a film that deserves a watch. Remaking a movie by itself is a stiff challenge and that too to redo a Rajinikanth film that won greater accolades is near impossible.
However Selvabharathy and his team have taken it in their stride to come up with the movie. Sundar C plays the role enacted by Rajinikanth, while Sneha has replaced Rathi Agnihotri. Suman dons the role played by Jai Shankar while Vivek does the character played by Surulirajan (a role with grey shades).
The story is almost the same. And Selvabharathy should be appreciated for not tampering with the original. For those who have not watched the original, Kalaiyan (Sundar C) is a bravado in a village and he is a do-gooder admired by all. His life is his four brothers. He showers all his love on them.
A rich girl (Sindhu Thulani), sister of zameendar Varadharajan (Suman) falls for him. Meanwhile there is Saroja (Vivek), an accomplice to Varadrajan. He is part of all illegal activities of Varadarajan. The latter comes across Poovarasi (Sneha) and decides to marry her. He even goes to the extent of killing his sister. Poovarasi manages to escape from him and takes shelter in Kalaiyan's house. Coming to know that Kalaiyan has a huge land where there is gold mine, Varadarajan hatches a conspiracy and decides to get her sister married to him and take the property.
Coming to know about his true colours, Kalaiyan stops his engagement. There are twists and turns in the script and Kalaiyan falls for Poovarasi. The revenge game begins. Varadarajan goes behind Kalaiyan. They both lock horns. But there is a twist in the form of Saroja in the climax. Sundar C plays the role well. It is a huge burden on him for he has to enact the role made famous by Rajinikanth. Full marks to him for not imitating Rajinikanth. He does it in his own style.
Sneha as chirpy young rural girl is adequate. Sindhu Thulani oozes glamour in a song sequence and disappears. Vivek plays a tricky character. It is a combination of both good and bad streaks. All is well but for the double meaning dialogues that he speaks from the first frame that he appears till the last. Many had managed to miss the scissors of censor, though at few places his dialogues are muted.
The climax stunts on top of a train, a huge opening song with hundreds of junior artistes are appealing. Srikanth Deva as usual comes up with some peppy numbers. The evergreen hit 'Podhuvaga En Manasu...' gets more peppy here. His background score is interesting. Santanio Terzio's cinematography gives the film a fresh colour. Srikanth and Praveen duo have tried to add pace with their editing.
All said, 'Murattu Kaalai' for some may not be a patch on the original. For the present generation, it is a revisit to rural village where valour matters.