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Kasethan Kadavulada: A Laugh Riot

Posted on the 27 February 2013 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

Movie: Kasethan Kadavulada

Director: Chitralaya Gopu

Cast: Muthuraman, Lakshmi, Srikanth, Venniradai Moorthy, Thengai Srinivasan, Manorama and Rama Prabha

Rating: ***1/2

If you have an appetite for non-stop laughter then you ought to watch this Tamil classic comedy. The title, which in English means “Money is God”, is an intelligent take on the impact of money in the lives of the characters. The plot may sound old-school but it was relevant back in 1972 when the film released. What really works in favor of “Kasethan Kadavulada” is its humour, which not even for a second appears artificial. Situational comedy would be the most appropriate way to describe it as most of the film takes place inside a house.

Despite being born and raised in an affluent family, Ramu and Sekhar, two unfortunate brothers, are always despised by their stepmother Parvathy for being jobless and of no service to the family. One day, when Ramu’s sister is in dire need of Rs. 3000, Parvathy refuses instantly. The situation forces the brothers to attempt the unthinkable – to steal Rs. 50,000 from a secret safe in the house. For the job, they bring in their best friend Appaswamy disguised as a Swamiji. Along the course of the theft, some crazy events unfold. Will the trio – Ramu, Sekhar and Appaswamy succeed in what they’ve set out to achieve? This forms the rest of the story.

Thengai Srinivasan, God bless his soul, as Appaswamy carries the film on his shoulders. His character is so well designed that it’s impossible to even find a single flaw. Even though I haven’t seen all his films, yet I feel this might be his career best performance. One of the highlights of his role is his Tuticorin lingo. If you’ve ever heard someone speak in it then you can imagine what I’m talking about – it’s so funny. Imagine a small time con man with a funny accent donning the role of a Swamiji. You ought to watch it, to enjoy to the fullest. One of the best scenes is when he is summoned to perform a religious ritual in front a large gathering, in which is also present the local Deputy Superintend of Police (DSP), who once booked him for shoplifting.

As much as everything portrayed in the film is merely for fun, director Gopu takes effort to address a problem commonly found in every household. It’s good that he doesn’t make it preachy and instead offers a simple solution through funny yet thought provoking narrative.

Since most actors of the film have a theatre background, their performances are nothing short of excellence. Be it Venniradai Moorthy as the wife-fearing husband or Manorama as the demanding mistress of the family, you wouldn’t find a single dull moment to complain. Muthuraman (Grandfather of Gautham Karthik of “Kadal”) and Srikanth share some wonderful moments together which is best enjoyed when watched than explained. Lakshmi too plays her part quite well. Lastly, it would bad on my part if I don’t take a minute to mention the role essayed by Rama Prabha. I loved the way the director used her character to introduce a twist in the climax.

If you’re a Tamilian or can at least understand the language in and out then I request you to definitely watch this film. You may want to watch it with subtitles but trust me, you wouldn’t enjoy the dialogues. Sorry to break your bubble but some films are better enjoyed when you know the language.

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