Oru Kuppai Kathai Outline: Poongodi weds Kumar without realizing that he works with the company as a junk gatherer. When she discovers reality, she avoids him and absconds with her neighbor, Arjun. Will Kumar prevail with regards to bringing her back? Or on the other hand does destiny have something different in store for them?
Oru Kuppai Kathai Review: Movies that deal with extramarital affairs are not new to Tamil audience. But this film is different, in the sense that it also drives home the point that no job is inferior as long as it doesn’t involve hurting others.
Oru Kuppai Kathai opens with Kumar, a man who works as a trash collector, approaching cops and confessing that he has committed a murder. The story then moves ahead in flashbacks. After several rejections, Kumar (National Award-winning choreographer Dhinesh Master, in his debut film as hero) finds a life partner in Poongodi (Manisha Yadav) and the wedding is fixed. But, there’s a little lock here – she believes he works as a clerk, though her parents are aware of the truth. When she finds out the truth, she’s dejected and distances herself from him. And soon, finding comfort in their neighbour Arjun’s (Sujo Mathew) company, she elopes with him and her newborn. How this incident affects Kumar and his family forms the crux of the story.
Dancers, generally, are good with emoting, and Dhinesh proves this right in his acting debut. He scores in scenes where he expresses his happiness through dance, and also when he’s dejected when his wife leaves him for another man. He should, however, work on his expressions when there’s melancholy involved; he’s just a tad too stiff there. Manisha as Poongodi is apt, and she delivers a measured performance – be it when she shows disgust at the appalling conditions in which she is forced to live, amidst dirty roads and people fighting for water and waiting in line to use the bathroom, or when she finds out that Arjun has ditched her and gotten engaged to another girl. Yogi Babu as Kumar’s friend has little do; in fact, he vanishes when his ‘friend’s’ life is in tatters. George as Manisha’s dad, Aadhira as Kumar’s mother and Kasturi paati fit in well; in fact, the chemistry between Aadhira and Kasturi work well, especially when they both sit down to share a glass of drink!
Director Kaali Rangasami has in his hands a good script, and almost succeeds in narrating a true-to-life story. Mahesh Muthuswamy ably supports him by using the hidden camera technique to make us feel like we are watching a live event unfold. If only the director hadn’t wavered by trying to fit in various elements – the life of trash collectors, how people dwelling in slums find happiness in even the smallest of things, the way the society treats married women who elope, and yes, how friends meet up over weekends to drink, smoke and indulge in casual sex and other clichés – the film could have been even more engaging. While the first half manages to pique our interest, we feel exhausted by the time the film ends because we have already guessed how it’s going to unfold.