Introduction There is a big moral from this movie called Katrin Mozhi. The heroine carries the message superbly. She had earlier acted superbly in the Rajnikant blockbuster called Chandramukhi. The earlier movie by the director of Patron Mozhi, Mr Radha Mohan titled Mozhi had Jothika doing a superb job as a deaf and dumb young girl. That was a full decade ago. Today, she acts her age and carries forward the important message of Women 's liberation that happens in a middle-class framework. The direction is slick. Not a single moment is dull.
This movie is a remake of a Hindi movie called Tumhari Sulu. Those who have seen both do say that frame by frame, most of the scenes are the same. I have not seen the original. Vidya Balan, who had done the title role, people claim, was simply superb. Jothika has done very much the same. Hence, this review becomes all that easy, as it is possible to concentrate on the finer aspects of the Tamil movie, as it were.
In this article, specific references are made to a) The Storyline b) the acting by Jothika c) the humour and the supporting cast d) the "natural" movie and e) The urge to be different.
The StorylineThe Story is very simple. A plus two failed housewife has the big urge to make use of her natural talent, based on native intelligence, to express herself. She has a husband who understands her to some extent, but when the nature of her job does demand her to be out of the home between 10 PM and 12 midnight, he does face the music.
The sequences where Jothika does her job as a Radio Jockey, are superbly captured. Everything is so natural. She never goes overboard and cuts down to size, men who tend to cross the limits. She quickly becomes a star. The employers rejoice her success and congratulate her.
However, her only son falls into bad company and is reprimanded in school. His wife becomes a star as her naturally husky voice and her ability to deal with young men of various kinds, makes her famous overnight. The employers are shown as very kind people. When things go out of control and her father goes on nagging her to resign her job, in the glorious company of two of her educated sisters, she does the inevitable. She resigns her job, goes back to what she is so good at-- cooking. Her husband, who works as a Production Manager in a textile unit, joins hands with her and soon realizes his folly when the catering business becomes very strong. Her son encourages her to go back to her Radio Jockey job, at FM Radio. There is not a single dull moment. Jothika has lived her role and here comes the message: never underestimate the creative potential of any women, irrespective of her educational qualification. Allow her to express herself and the rest will fall in place. It is women's liberation of a different kind but superbly told in a very simple and direct way, without the usual "item" numbers with booze being shown all over.
The acting by JothikaJothika takes off from where she leaves. If her acting in the Tamil classic by the same director, Radha Mohan, was superb in her role as a deaf and dumb girl, in this movie, Jothika scales new heights. The subtle variations in voice and her ability to take on such a delicate story to the next level would seem to suggest that only she can live this role. Which he really does.
Her performance is bound to be talked about for a long time, as she lives her age -- late thirties, and as the mother of an eleven-year-old child. It is this natural charm that is a huge plus for this movie as well. It is very likely that she would be nominated for the State Award for the best heroine character of this year.
This film has been released as a movie so different from the masala of "Sarkar" that was released on the Diwali day. This low budget movie will once again open up the debate as to how such movies can also be made -- a superb women-centric movie, where the main focus is the need for the housewife to express herself. Jothika has proved that a superb movie can be done with the heroine being able to bring out the core message of all women being allowed to express themselves, even in a traditional family set up, at low cost and still engage the audiences, more so, in the metro cities and in the big towns.
The humour and the supporting castA movie can become a success only if it is supported by a good cast. The story should jell so naturally with the supporting cast being able to add tremendous value in terms of viewer interest. This is exactly what has happened in this movie.
The down-to-earth comedy by Monobala is very effective. The comedy that is so obvious with the Brahmin lady selling pickles in the gated community and the middle-class interest in such products leads to healthy humour. There is no item song in this movie. No vulgar dialogues and no violence at all. Not even a single fight. The hero Vidharth, sings only one song. Everything is so natural.
The sadness that shows on the face of Jothika, when a midnight party leads to a dance, superbly set in the background of the famous 'Jimmikki Kammal' dance from a very famous Malayalam movie, is superb. Even that is so natural, though Jothika does participate in the dance to some extent. Even her culinary skills are shown so naturally when the business expands and her husband is able to appreciate the good work done by his wife as a Radio Jockey. The anger of one of the main characters, called M. S. Bhaskar, whose acting is simply superb, is explained beautifully. He had lost his dear wife and his helplessness leads to anger shown on every resident.
The natural movieThis is another refreshing aspect of this movie. When the story is superb, and the narrative is so direct, the movie itself becomes so "natural". That there is no violence at all, makes this movie a gem. A movie that can be watched with the entire family. The earlier blockbuster, "Sarkar", though very good, can be dangerous with young minds below the age of eight. The fight sequences were superb but had too much violence. This movie is a total contrast to "Sarkar" and would have obviously been so small budget. This is refreshingly simple and a hugely welcome change in Tamil cinema. It can be easily understood even by those who do not know the language.
The urge to be differentThe urge to be different is so obviously seen in this movie. The director has shown to do a remake of a Hindi movie, where Vidya Balan had reportedly done so well. However, Johtika has done equally well and needs to be applauded for her efforts to not only act superbly but also convey so much through her body language. The director needs to be congratulated for making such a superb movie. This movie stands as a huge testimony to the fact that human nature can be very good too. That even the most innocent of women, who have not even passed the plus two examinations, can be superbly successful in careers too. Hats off to the director!!
ConclusionThis movie Katrin Mozhi which is superb in every respect is not only watchable by all but is also likely to win at least one State award.