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Kuselan Kuselan

Kuselan Behindwoods Official Review

Behindwoods Movie Review Board
Movie review

Starring: Rajini, Pasupathy, Nayanthara, Meena, Sona, Vadivelu, Vijayakumar

Direction: P Vasu

Music: G V Prakash

Production: K Balachander

Director P. Vasu’s take on Srinivasan’s Kathaparyumbol attempts to show Rajini in a different light, only with a different screen name. Forty minutes into the movie, Rajini appears, bringing with him the glitz and glamour of movie making. He delivers punch dialogues, duets with Nayanthara, and shows that he can still pull in a crowd by playing himself without having to hype up his image. However, in the process, and probably due to the overwhelming presence of the superstar, the delightful story about two friends is regrettably lost.
Kuselan follows the story of Balu, played by Pasupathy, who is more often than not addressed cynically as Barber Balu by his village men. He is down in the dumps because his business is going downhill and is in an attempt to revive it from slumping by applying for a bank loan. His short term goal, however, is to buy a new wooden chair and get rid of his dilapidating old one.

In the mean time, there is hullabaloo in the village owing to a shooting unit that has camped in the neighborhood. Balu gets to know that his childhood friend Ashok Kumar is part of the cast. When the news about Balu’s friendship with Ashok Kumar is let out by his wife Sridevi, played by Meena, the reluctant Balu is burdened with requests from many sections of the village. They want to use Balu’s friendship as a ticket to get near Ashok Kumar for reasons ranging from meeting him in close proximity to inviting him for the village school’s silver jubilee anniversary.

The first forty minutes of the movie, intended to be down-to-earth and unpretentious village comedy, is a classic case of Lost in Translation. Vadivelu’s earsplitting comic act, especially dialogue delivery, steals away the possibility to have a few laughs at the
naivety displayed by Pasupathy. Besides, lack of sharp-witted dialogues also contributes to the tedium. Although Vadivelu’s hiding-and-watching-wife’s-exercising-with-villagers is in bad taste, his shaving-the-balloon act while apprenticing with Pasupathy is hilarious. That apart, Livingston, Santhanam, Manobala, and R. Sundarrajan also contribute to the laughs.
Although Rajini remains the main focus of the movie, Pasupathy wells many eyes with tears often. His inability to express his family about his unwillingness to visit Ashok Kumar, his helplessness when he could not pay his daughter’s school fees, and his emotional turmoil when encountered by his friend’s speech – Pasupathy proves to be the saving grace of the movie at times. Meena, as his unassuming wife, has done an okay job despite having been decked up with brand new saris and costumes as a poor man’s wife.

Nayan plays herself and is oozing with oomph, courtesy, her barely-there costumes. If that’s not enough, she’s also drenched in the rain and caught in different angles for a song that appears like a bolt out of the blue – it also seems to be the case for most of the songs. But who cares, as long as Nayan is there. The focus of the movie quite often shifts to Vadivelu and Livingston who tickle a few funny bones with their unsuccessful attempts to meet Rajini
G. V. Prakash’s music and rerecording flows with the tide. The art department seems to be screaming for attention for all the sets look plastic and non-natural.

On the whole, Kuselan is a friendship tale worth giving a shot. For it is not too often that you get to see Rajini playing himself, the superstar. Not to say, the fifteen minute climax which is the only high point of the movie.

Verdict – Lost in translation!

Vallamai Thaaraayo
Aayudham Seivom
Subramaniyapuram Muniyandi Vallamai Thaaraayo Aayudham Seivom Dasavatharam
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