Lovingly crafted feel-good film
Sillu Karuppatti Movie Synopsis: An anthology of four romantic stories across four age groups connected by that magical thread called love!
Sillu Karuppatti Movie Review: “We like only a few things in each other, yet we believe we love a person whole-heartedly. That make-believe factor is love,” says a character in Sillu Karuppatti, Halitha Shameem’s wonderful anthology that gives us four stories – two each before and after the interval – across four age groups all connected by that magical thread called love. This particular line appears in the second episode – and the film’s best one, titled Kaaka Kadi, which is all about how this character, Madhu (Nivedhitha Sathish), who admits she doesn’t have a romantic bone ends up falling for Mukilan (Manikandan), a part-time meme creator, who has just discovered that he has testicular cancer. They meet as passengers ride-sharing a cab, and gradually open up to each other, discussing everything from love to pornography, and Madhu ends up giving the heartbroken Mukilan hope (literally) and heart (metaphorically)!
In the opening story, Pink Bag, love connects a ragpicker and a rich girl. Maanja (Rahul), the teenaged ragpicker, begins to crush on Mity (Sara Arjun), a girl from a wealthy household, after stumbling upon her photo in the garbage from her home. Soon, he begins to collect knicknacks from her garbage everyday – a seemingly broken Walkman that has a recording of her song (she is an aspiring musician), a ring that holds emotional value. But given their class difference, can he muscle up courage to give these back to her? And will she be able to see his ‘love’? The leisurely pacing and the raw performances do make this film somewhat uneven, but the sincerity in the storytelling makes it work.
Meanwhile, in Turtles, the most filmi of the four films, two people in their autumnal years realise they cannot live without the other. Navaneethan (Kravmaga Sreeram) spots Yashoda (Leela Samson) playing at a park and is instantly smitten by her. He is a widower while she is a spinster. They get acquainted at the hospital – they are undergoing a master health check-up – and open up to each other about their respective lives over a turtle walk. While they have no problem beginning a conversation, unlike youngsters who have fallen in love, the doubts that crop up are more or less similar – does he/she really love me?; how to find your lover when you have no clue of her whereabouts; …
And in the final and even-handed film, Hey Ammu!, a “stamp kuthina boring couple” rediscovers passion after 12 years into their marriage when love has all but gotten lost in the mundanities of everyday life. The husband, Dhanapal (Samuthirakani) has no time for his wife, Amudhini (Sunainaa) and her needs, both physical and emotional – though he does seem to be a good father to his kids. Even when it comes to sex, he asks her for it, though he is decent enough to add that he’d understand if his wife is tired. He isn’t exactly a jerk, but a regular guy with a sense of male entitlement who doesn’t realise he is acting like one. When Amudhini complains that he barely notices her – when other men compliment her on her new hairstyle – he shoots back that he is going bald but she, too, hasn’t been giving that any notice. And when Amudhini she reaches the end of her tether with his uncaring attitude, he tries to compensate by gifting her a virtual assistant – hoping that she’d leave him alone as she now has someone to speak to! How does this new entrant enable the couple to learn about each other and lead to harmony in their relationship?
Sillu Karuppatti is so lovingly crafted with endearing performances, aesthetic visuals (though four cinematographers have worked on it, the film does an amazing job in keeping the visual tone consistent) and emotive music (by Pradeep Kumar) that superbly complement the perceptive writing. “Look around, there’s love everywhere,” says Mukilan to Madhu, and that seems to be what the director seems to have done. Through the four stories, Halitha tries to define what love means at different stages of our lives – during adolescence, it is unconditional and unrequited; as twenty-somethings, it is a mix of the physical and the emotional; during middle-age, it means intimacy while at the fag end of our lives, it stands for companionship. And she succeeds in style by giving us a feel-good film that leaves us smiling – and also feeling.