KD Movie Synopsis: An elderly man whose family is planning to mercy kill him runs away from home and strikes up a friendship with a little boy who helps him live life to the fullest.
KD Movie Review: Old age and childhood are two sides of the same coin in Madhumita’s heartwarming KD (a) Karuppu Durai. The film opens with the family of Karuppu Durai (Mu Ramasamy), an elderly man who is in coma, planning to mercy kill him. However, he wakes up, overhears their plan and runs away from home. The colour tone in these scenes are in sickly yellow, but make no mistake, the film is no weepie. It is a feel-good, and at times bittersweet, film that is one of the year’s sweet surprises.
Karuppu Durai meets Kutty (Naga Vishal), a streetsmart orphan, and the two gradually warm up to each other given their shared loneliness. While Kutty helps regain the old man’s lost faith in human relationships, KD becomes a surrogate father (or grandfather) to the little boy. This aspect of the setup might remind you of Pixar’s Up, but this one is an adventure that is more personal and closer to life. And this journey is filled with laughs, sadness, love, fear, and even the odd angry moment – just like in life. The writing doesn’t force-fit these emotions but lets them evolve organically. We get a bucket list that gets ticked off one by one, but even this doesn’t come across as a mission or something.
Madhumita keeps it simple with the filmmaking as well. There isn’t anything flashy, be it in the camera moves or the editing. The director lets her actors and the score, by Karthikeya Murthy, which is jaunty and moving in the right places, do the magic.
Mu Ramasamy is fantastic as KD, bringing to the fore the character’s physical frailty and vitality to enhance his expressions. He makes the sight of him polishing off biryani with such relish such a delightful one. Naga Vishal is made to behave like an adult, and while this can become irritating in many films, here, it feels just right, for the orphaned Kutty would have had to wear this persona as an armour to survive in his world which is filled with adults. And the kid confidently pulls off such a role, sweeping us off our feet.
Madhumita also paints the supporting characters with warmth – from KD’s childhood crush who makes him realise a crucial thing about Kutty to the koothu artiste (Ganesan Kaliamoorthy) who becomes the duo’s friend, the biryani shop owner, the temple priest (Badava Gopi) who raises Kutty to even the tracker (Yog Japee) whom KD’s family hires to find their missing father. The scenes involving the latter character actually leads to a few tense moments when he almost comes close to getting hold of the old man.
If there is a misstep, you could say that the representation of KD’s sons and daughters as selfish and heartless individuals could have been layered. Barring one of the daughters, no one seems to love the man, who everyone admits was a good father and human. And even when they realise he has come out of coma, they try to find him only so that they could perform the euthanasia ritual. Some might also find the pacing a tad slow, but the world that the director builds is so endearing that we don’t mind the scenes (like the ones with the childhood crush, which has a whiff of Pa. Pandi) that linger on more than they have to.