Kadugu (2017) is a different take on how those in power and others who aspire to, commit crimes with ease.
Puli J. Pandi (starring Director Rajakumaran) is a labourer and cook to a Police Inspector who got recently transferred to the picturesque town of Tharangambadi. He gets transformed when he dons the costume of a tiger (Puli) and dances. Actor Bharath as Nambi is a local landlord, a trained boxer who is looking to befriend the ruling party minister to get a chance to stand in upcoming assembly election as the town’s MLA candidate. One day the visiting minister tries to molest a young school girl getting ready to perform on stage, overcome by his selfish interest Nambi turns a blind eye to this transgression. Traumatised the girl commits suicide, but Nambi collaborates with police to keep Puli’s mouth shut.
Though a labourer with little means, Puli is kind-hearted and helps everyone he can. This draws a local school teach Eby (played by Kuttram Kadithal Radhika Prasidhha) closer to Puli who is much older than her. The one-sided love of Anirudh (another labourer in the Police station) played by Bharath Seeni with the girl (Subiksha) who loves Nambi, adds some relief to otherwise a serious story. We have seen plenty of movies where a minister misbehaves, what elevates Kadugu to a different level is how it is told from the point of view of Puli, an insignificant person in the society where the story happens – as the “bad” circle inspector says to Puli “you are not even an entity here, there is no one to even miss you“.
Single handed Rajakumaran runs with the entire film on his shoulders, brilliant acting who has literally lived the role, it was a delight watching him argue passionately to his master – the “good” police inspector. Actor Bharath should be appreciated for underplaying his role and supporting Rajakumaran throughout. The fly-by shots of Tharangambadi sea-coast were outstanding, kudos to the Director and Cinematographer Vijay Milton.
Kadugu is a must watch for March ’17.