Amazon prime’s first Tamil anthology Putham Pudhu Kaalai has brought together directors Sudha Kongara, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Suhasini Maniratnam, Rajiv Menon and Karthik Subbaraj, and they have presented five different tales set in the first phase of the Coronavirus lockdown. Let’s see what Putham Pudhu Kaalai has in store.
Sudha Kongara’s Ilamai Idho Idho has Jayaram and Urvashi playing the leads, and revolves around two long lost lovers reuniting during the lockdown phase, to take an ultimate decision of their lives for a fresh beginning. Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Avarum Naanum/ Avalum Naanum presents the tale of a granddaughter (Ritu Varma) bonding with her grandfather (MS Baskar) during the lockdown, and discovering what really separated them for years. Suhasini’s Coffee anyone? presents the tale of three sisters (Suhasini, Anu Haasan, Shruti Haasan)who are confronted with the critical health situation of their mother, and a miracle that happens in their lives, strengthening their relationships. Rajiv Menon’s Reunion has two friends Saadhana (Andrea Jeremiah) and Vikram (Sikkhil Gurucharan) meeting after a long time during the pandemic, and getting to know how each other’s lives have changed while also discovering love. Karthik Subbaraj’s Miracle presents the tale of a director (Muthukumar) and two Thieves (Bobby Simha and Sharath), waiting for a miracle in their lives, and whether the pandemic changes their fortunes.
While Jayaram delivers an energetic performance, Urvashi is subtle, and Kalyani Priyadarshan and Kalidas Jayaram have a cute screen presence. Ritu Varma expresses the longing, the anger and the realisation very well, while MS Baskar’s breakdown towards the end of the segment is sure to make an impact. Suhasini and Anu Haasan seem hyper active throughout the segment, and Shruti Haasan presents a contrastingly cool and calm performance. Andrea Jeremiah is aptly cast, and her singing skills are of great use in the segment as well, while Leela Samson provides an adequate supporting performance. Sikkhil Gurucharan is a good find, and delivers a fine performance. While Muthukumar’s character doesn’t get much scope to perform, Bobby Simha and Sharath combo delivers a hilarious act with their one-liners and body language.
SP Charan’s rendition of Manmadhan Naandhaana in GV Prakash’s music and Kanna Thoodhu crooned by Bombay Jayashree and composed Govind vasantha are impressive numbers. The Oru Kili number is effectively used in Karthik Subbaraj’s segment Miracle.
Sudha Kongara’s segment which explores the love of an old aged couple who decide about a life together, is presented in an interesting manner with the way she has utilised Kalyani Priyadarshan and Kalidas. Gautham Vasudev Menon’s segment explores the emotions of granddaughter and grandfather well, though the director fails to present an effective reason behind MS Baskar’s decision to stay away from his family. While few dialogues in Suhasini Maniratnam’s segment are artificial, Suhasini and Anu Haasan present exaggerated performances, and the segment is rescued by a feel good finale. Rajiv Menon’s segment has best utilised Andrea and Gurucharan’s musical talents, blending it well with the theme, and presents a heartwarming tale of love and redemption. Karthik Subbaraj’s Miracle tickles the funny bone, and despite the predictable proceedings, the dark humour appeals. While Sudha Kongara, Gautham Vasudev Menon and Karthik Subbaraj have come up with pretty good, entertaining and heartwarming mini tales, Rajiv Menon and Suhasini’s tales could have been presented better. Nevertheless, with good performances by the cast, soothing score and songs and a rich technical team, Putham Pudhu Kaalai is a welcome step in the Tamil OTT arena, and a lovely effort from the five makers.
Verdict: An anthology with some heartwarming moments and few misses.