K.D. (a) Karuppu Durai is a 2019 Tamil film which I caught on Netflix just today. The film opens inside a small house in a village called Kallupatti in Virudhunagar with a voiceover of an old man. The lines are cheeky and within those few minutes you realise that you are up for some thing different.
K.D is the story of an old man, a father of 5 adult children, who is in coma for a few months. His name is Karuppu Durai and so K.D but he is a self made Kaydee (jack of all trades) as well. Except for the youngest daughter, the others agree upon to inflict a traditional method of mercy killing of their own dad. This practice it seems is quite in vogue in rural TN it seems and it was news to me. The old man gets out of coma miraculously and manages to flee the house and escape the act. While on the run, he comes in contact with a young boy who is an orphan and rest of the story is about the lovely bond which the two develop.
Director Madhumita who is a newcomer with just few films under her belt is the surprise package in the film. For an intense rural subject, she is sure footed in terms of the setting, the dialect and the proceedings. The framing of the scenes, the frequent use of single shot camera sequences and the screenplay will put quite a few seasoned film makers to shame.
Mu. Ramaswamy who plays the old man is a revelation. With his theatre background, he uses his body language and eyes to convey the right emotions, without crossing the line across to overacting. The boy’s character is played by another talented kid Nagavishal who has just lived the part. In the film, he plays the role of a over mature kid, the one who is over smart for his age. The scenes involving his interactions with the old man are just brilliant with the writing and performances trying to out shine one another.
There are other supporting characters who are all cast well and seem like plucked out of day today lives in rural TN. They all leave a mark in the limited screen time they get.
The film is shot in rural TN in real locations that charm your eyes. Credit for the same goes to the camerawork by Meyindiran-Kempuraj who have followed the director’s brief for the film to keep things restrained and simple.
Like what I had mentioned in my review of Sillu Karupatti a film directed by another woman, K.D. is filled with moments that touch your heart without being serious or melodramatic.
The film is almost flawless I would say, except may be for the idealistic narrative which depicts everything nice about people who the old man meets after leaving the house. Reality may not be such a garden of roses.
For a Tamil film, it is extremely endearing. It is not your loud, mass film which have now become common in Tamil films but a very simple film that tugs your heart. Madhumita is a film maker to watch out for.
Watch K.D if you haven’t and thank me later.