Katrathu Thamizh review
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Thread: Katrathu Thamizh review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Outta' this world

    Default Katrathu Thamizh review

    Katrathu Thamizh is well and truly a tragedy. When the protagonist in a movie says "சாவு தான் என்னோட விசிட்டிங் கார்டு" you know this is 21 Grams material. But, in between lamenting the his miseries the movie also engages in some clever and not-so-clever social commentary.

    This is the story of Prabhakar, who as the director points out, is the product of many individuals he has experienced in his life. At time you think he is the product of all the negative experiences in many an individual's life. Prabhakar loses his mother at a tender age, she gets killed in an accident while he is watching. His drifts away from his father, gets very close to his Tamil teacher but then sees him die prematurely as well. He chooses to major in Tamil at the university, which is kind of a tragedy on its own. His one and only romantic foray also turns into a tragedy when his girlfriend is forced to become a prostitute. Unsurprisingly, Prabhakar's mind goes a bit weird after all this and he becomes a serial killer, sometime killing without even wanting to kill.

    The biggest issue Katrathu Thamizh is trying to address is the issue of Tamil. It questions why the mother tongue of 65 million people is treated so badly in their own nation. It asks why all the IT executives are being paid so much when Tamil is ignored. It also questions the effect of social and cultural changes because of this wealth, especially among the suddenly-rich youth. Prabhakar is enraged when he sees a lady executive on 300,000 a month wearing a t-shirt proclaiming "Touch me here if you dare". He dares hence he touches. I think he was ticked off because she has pizza for lunch (don't laugh, watch the movie and you will get what I mean).

    The movie implies the rich multinational IT companies are to blame for the plight of Prabhakar and many other youth such as him. It blames them for inflating the house prices and the cost of living. It blames them for pushing others out of the city into far flung low cost areas. And therein lies my biggest issue with the movie. Don't mistake me, the movie is genuine with the pain in Prabhkar's life. It is raw and touching. But it is a pretty poor show to then point the finger at the private businesses. Sure their wages are high compared to other professions, but isn't it the government who invites all these companies to invest in the country and gives them tax concessions? If the government wanted to, they can eradiacte the imbalance quickly by taxing the multi-nationals high and then spend the taxes on the poor. High taxes will mean the companies have to reduce their wage structure to remain competetive and thus an equality might be acheived. However, for obvious reasons this does not happen.

    It is a similar story with the plight of Tamil. Art and culture were never the foremost concern of the private business. It was always upto the state or waelthy individuals to look after these. So Prabhakar's anger should have been better directed at a government which does precious nothing to preserve its cultural identity rather than the bosom of the poor IT executive.

    Katrathu Thamizh revives the genre of tragedy-social commentary which was so popular in the late 70s and early 80s, movies such as Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal and Varumaiyin Niram Sikappu readily spring to mind. Given Katrathu Thamizh's stroyline is so relevant to today's society it goes to show that social divide still exists deeply in the Indian society exactly like it was 30 or so years ago and almost a decade of breakneck growth has done nothing to change it.

    The movie is made in such a realistic manner you don't realize you are watching one, which says much about the technical aspects of the movie. The direction from Ram is spot on, which is not surprising given he is from the Balu Mahendra stable. If only he could have thought a bit more about his social commentary.

    The only other aspect of the movie that really worth mentioning is the acting of Jeeva. He really has done much more than he could be realistically capable. It is very refreshing to see a young actor take on such a challenging role and have come out decently. But make no mistake, he ain't Kamal, for starters Kamal would never even have entertained a thought of acting in a false beard in such a serious movie.

    Katrathu Thamizh has its flaws, but it is a real and genuine movie. And in an industry where most success has gone to copycat spaghetti masalas this is really an acheivement.

    Verdict - 4/5
    Trolling Geetham since 2003...

  2. #2


    Its a decent movie and looks different from the usual masala movies.
    Arsenal Supporter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Garden State


    dinesh.. didnt read ur review yet.. does it have any spoilers

    I Geetham

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