‘Thalai Kothal’ Movie Review: Jay Prakash’s Sunnyside is simply brilliant

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Kaliselvan and Samothirkani in a still from 'Thalai Kothal'
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Kaliselvan and Samuthirkani in ‘Thalai Kothal’ photo Photo credit: Special Arrangements

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When is considered alive? Is it when they are fully functioning physically and mentally and are conscious of it? Or does it have more to do with the life force within us? What if someone is unconscious, but their mind is alive with memories of the life they led? I ThalaicothalHis most gripping and expansive work to date, writer-director Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan fearlessly tells a compelling story about one man’s fight to save his abusive father, and through They allow us to ponder many of these questions.

Jay Prakash has complete control over the narrative. Thalaicothal His debut film has every signature element. Lens And his Mumble cover film The philosophy of the mosquito His stories have psychological depth, his characters find themselves grappling with existential questions, and he dares to pick up on themes we are all familiar with but are not told. Lens was about the sheer inhumanity of pornography, whereas The philosophy of the mosquito Explores the social stigma surrounding late marriages. Thalaicothal Cineicide talks about (killing the elderly), and while it is normal to expect a story about a father-son relationship here, Jayaprakash’s film goes much further than that and we get to see the story. See through the eyes of a comatose patient.

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It is the smooth and creative changes that impress us first. The details of the setting (it is a village in Thirunel Valley) and the duration of the film have not been filled. In the very first scene of the film, we see Pazani (Samuthirakani) cleaning before arguing with her father Mithu (Kali Selvan). Wife Kalai (Vasundhara), who can’t take the life that this unfortunate situation is forcing her to lead.


Director: Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan

The cast: Samuthirkani, Vasundhara, Kathir, Kaliselvan, Kathanandi

Run time: 160 minutes

The story line: A man’s long battle to save his insane father faces financial obstacles, and after his family recommends euthanasia as the best possible option, his father’s routine Expectations to come are tested.

In a few minutes, a lot is conveyed through dialogue, and information drips to the audience. Pazzani is fed up with the wrist and his family requests his father’s death to improve the family’s finances (Pazzani is unable to return to work). With mounting debt crippling his neck, Pazzani clings to his faith in his father and believes that things can get easier when his father gets back to normal.

On a parallel track, Mithu is subconsciously dreaming and reminiscing about the life he (Kathir plays the younger Mithu) led with his lover Peechi (Katha Nandi), an oppressed man. There is a young woman of the caste. Love was what made Muthu feel alive, and it’s beautiful how this love and its many complications drive the plot forward. Throughout its 160-minute duration, these two narratives travel, the transitions and interconnections between them making for truly visual imagery. For example, Mithu unconsciously dreams of drowning in a pool of coconut water after hearing about the euthanasia method of repeated feeding of coconut water.

Interestingly, this screenplay structure that combines surreal imagery and reality is one of the many similarities the film shares with Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Inarreto’s Oscar-nominated 2022 feature. Bardo, A False History of a Handful of Truths. Even so, it was a life that looked back on some surreal memories, and the relationship that a man shares with his child and his father also played a central role.

It is also really admirable how despite presenting so many arguments on both sides Thalaicothal Never takes a specific position in the debate about euthanasia. It never antagonizes Kalai and his family, despite Pazani and Mithu being the protagonists who are literally fighting for their lives. She fights for her agency and family involvement in decision-making, and questions Pizzani’s blind hopes for her father’s recovery. If Pazzani has a right to question the morality of his wife’s proposal, then he has a right to care about his future, one in which he does not have to fight for daily survival. So, what is the ultimate solution? The way the film approaches this is clever, given that there is no concrete answer to this debate especially when socio-economic factors are at play.

Thalaicothal There’s a lot of ambiguity, and that works a lot in its favor. It’s nice to see a filmmaker who takes his time with the storyteller as well as giving the audience the right information to make the story. Jayaprakash also manages to bring out captivating performances from his lead actors like Samutharakani, Kathir, Kaliselvan, and Vasundhara. But it is Rajesh, the film’s sound designer, who deserves a bigger piece of the cake. You wouldn’t believe it if someone told you that this movie was shot using sync sound. Kannan Narayanan’s music only adds to the consistent tone of the film.

Perhaps, the only issue that might affect a less informed audience is the film’s length. This long film hardly takes a breather, and the sequence with magical realism has the chance to rub many the wrong way. However, in retrospect, there is not a single scene that does not add value to the experience. There are too many symbols, metaphors, and stunning visual imagery to even warrant a second watch.

Above all, seeing Samothirakani in such a role is an absolute treat.

Thalaikothal is slated to hit the theaters on February 3.

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