Producers: Amazon Prime Video
Directors: Sudha Kongara, Gautham Menon, Suhasini Maniratnam, Rajiv Menon and Karthik Subbaraj
Star Cast: Jayaram, Urvashi, Kalidas Jayaram, Kalyani Priyadarshan, M.S. Bhaskar, Ritu Verma, Kathadi Ramamoorthy, Suhasini Maniratnam, Shruti Haasan, Anu Haasan, Andrea Jeremiah, Leela Samson, Sikkil Gurucharan, Bobby Simha and Muthukumar
Engrossing and Appealing!
Putham Pudhu Kaalai is a Tamil anthology film, consisting of five short film segments, each directed by a different director. They do not have any link with each other except the fact that all five are set against the backdrop of lockdown. The mix comprises Ilamai Idho Idho, directed by Sudha Kongara; Avarum Naanum/Avalum Naanum, by Gautham Menon; Coffee, Anyone? by Suhasini Maniratnam; Reunion, by Rajiv Menon and the last but not the least Miracle, by Karthik Subburaj.
In the segment Avarun Naanum /Avalum Naanum directed by Gautham Menon, M.S. Bhasker, as an aging scientist estranged from the daughter he treasured over and above his career, the one for whom he pines everyday but still is able to accept that she chose to stay away from him, delivers a wonderful performance which brings tears to your eyes as you watch the segment, with bated breath.
The segment Coffee, Anyone? Directed by Suhasini Mani Ratnam about three sisters (who are raised by a strong woman) , who are not in favor of their father’s decision to bring home their mother whose life is oscillates between life and death, looks more like an extended Haasan family reunion, with the exception of Kathadi Ramamoorthy, who had to step in at the last minute when director Suhasini’s own father Charuhaasan was indisposed. The film takes an objective look at a late-born daughter, a dyslexic son and a dyslexic grandfather and tries to tackle upfront the questions of morality and mortality. Suhasini is excellent both as a director as well as actor while Shruti Haasan scores as the daughter who has distanced herself from her family. Anuradha is impressive after a long period of oblivion
In Rajeev Menon’s segment Reunion, we have a rather unconventional mother who doesn’t bat an eyelid when her single son asks his woman friend to spend lockdown with them, when by accident she is thrown in their house after her car breaks down on the way. The mother does not mind her son’s beloved doing cocaine and singing at the bar.
Sudha Kongara’s segment Ilamai Idho Idho drives home the message of how love has evolved over the years and deals with the director’s interpretation of how love makes one feel young. One wonders why on earth did the director decide to use a younger set of actors (Kalidas Jayaram and Kalyani Priyadarshan) to enact Rajeev and Lakshmi every time they feel young and romantic in each other’s company, instead of asking the older actors themselves to depict romance. It’s a very valid contemporary commentary of how society treats the elderly, so much so that even the simple gesture as offering tea is enough to induce the feelings of affection.
The segment Miracle directed by Karthik Subbaraj is in drastic contrast as far as the format and the ambience of all the other segments. It is how two small-time ruffians find it hard to survive due to the lockdown, but have a sinister plan to tide the crisis in their own way. Bobby and Muthu score in this segment as the small time thieves who miss hitting the jackpot.