First up, Mookuthi Amman is a comedy caper. Its an all out satire that takes on the “Commerce” of religion, in this case one particular religion. This theme is not very unique to Indian cinema. Before we accuse the film of being heavily inspired, the makers themselves put out a bunch of films like Oh My God, PK and the likes on which the film is inspired.
Mookuthi Amman (MA) written and directed by RJ Balaji and Saravanan is set in Nagerkoil in Tamil Nadu. The premise is about RJ Balaji fighting two battles in two different fronts – one, on the personal front being the sole bread winner for a family of six without the head of the family. Second, being a reporter of a lowly channel, is working on a story that is potentially scandalous but that doesn’t get anybody’s attention. How the Goddess Mookuthi Amman herself comes to his life and unties the knots in both these fronts forms the story.
While the theme is old, showing the Goddess also with a human element is new. But the 2nd half which revolves around the scheming God Man (not difficult to guess on whom the character is based on) follows a very predictable path with no originality in screen play. What works for the film is the humour, particularly in the 1st half. The lines of RJ Balaji and his mother Urvashi land quite well. There are real laugh out loud moments and I liked in particular the Baasha gig by Urvashi! As a script, there is plenty of scope for tongue’n cheek humour but the writers squander the opportunity. I feel a more seasoned humour writer would have peppered the script with cheeky one liners. The film gets very preachy at the end and shown flashes of Shankar film type outcomes of changes in the society.
RJ Balaji like in his earlier film operates within his limitations as an actor. He may not be able to sustain as an actor if he doesn’t expand his range. Nayanthara as the Amman is a surprise choice. Amman’s wardrobe is exquisite and with her looks, Nayanthara sleep walks the part. The pick of the cast of course is Urvashi. Her comic timing is perfect and when needed, she opens the emotion tap. In the initial few minutes, her dubbing has a lot of Malayalam influence which fades away after a while. The villain played by one Ajay Ghosh is a huge let down. They could have got 10 other actors to play this role 1000 times better!
The film could have done with better production values, I thought. The graphics and SFX are tacky and too over the top. One line on the music score by Girish Gopalakrishnan. The score is extremely refreshing and the youngster shows a lot of promise. His grounding on Carnatic classical comes through the film even in the background score.
Mookuthi Amman is a complete time pass film which one should watch without any pretensions of logic etc…
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