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'Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam', a family film

The movie has been made like a cowboy flick of MGR's era

Renju Joseph |

Updated:May 17, 2010, 11:53 AM IST
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'Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam', a family film
The movie has been made like a cowboy flick of MGR's era

Film: Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam; Director: Chimbu Devan; Producer: Kalpathi Agoram; Music: GV Prakash; Cast: Raghava Lawrence, Lakshmi Rai, Padma Priya and Sandhya M S Bhaskar, Ilavarasu, Ramesh Kanna, Vyapuri, Mouli, Delhi Ganesh, Manorama and V S Raghavan.

Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam (IKMS) was initially supposed to be a Pongal release. However it did not grace the screens on Pongal, possibly because it was up against a lot of big star films or it had delays on the post-production table. IKMS has been hyped from the time Chimbu Devan the director toyed the idea in his mind.

IKMS is the Tamil version of the Wild West; you have it all from the cowboys to the horses, six cylinder revolvers and cards antics but conveniently forgot the cows. The cowboy theme was fancied during the MGR heydays and has now resurfaced.

This is the third outing as a director for Chimbu Devan and sticking to his earlier genre this one is a comedy too.

The film starts off with an introduction on the cowboy history and how it blends into the imaginary extrapolation of our civilisation.

The story starts off with Lawrence being sentenced to death for stealing a diamond, (called Texause Mulingi shaped like a radish from where it derives its name) which is believed to bring rain to Sholay puram (where Amitabh Bachchan’s picture adorns the court wall in the place of Mahatma Gandhi).

Lawrence is rescued at the nick of time by a set of cowboys, who are in turn set to save their town of Jaishankar puram (named after the yesteryear actor Jaishankar).

The set of cowboys from Jaishankar puram want Lawrence to pose as the fierce Muratu Singam in order to boost the morale of the people in the town and to beat the villain. Lawrence is lured to take up the task in return for a replica of Texause Mulingi diamond, which could save him from the hangman in Sholay puram.

The villain is a blood-trailing double crosser played by Naseer, who has such a fancy for all things American that he names his town USA puram. He has trusted lieutenants like Lakshmi Rai and Saikumar.

Lawrence rides to Jaishankar puram where he is greeted by the people with warmth. He also meets Padmapriya and the duo are instantly attracted. He is made sheriff and is told about the history of Jaishankar puram.

On his entry Lawrence has a dry run with Naseer's men. This sets off a series of attacks and also double crossing by Naseer and his men. This leads the tribe of Veg-andi Puram (all vegetarians) getting into loggerheads with Lawrence and Jaishankar puram.

Later Naseer’s plan is foiled when Sandhya the daughter of the tribal chief falls head over heels for Lawrence. The tribals join the fight against the USA puram and Naseer.

We are 75 per cent into the movie when the people of Jaishankar puram stumble upon a map leading to a lost treasure. The rest of the film is about the treasure hunt, Jaishankar puram’s independence from USA puram and what happens with our hero.

Art direction of Muthraj is brilliant for recreating an old western feel and the expansive sets at the climax.

Music has been scored by G V Prakash and Vairamuthu has penned all the songs.

Chimbu Devan has once again weaved his earlier magic. This movie has been produced by Kalpathi Agoram and shot in locales like Palakkad, Ambasamudarm, Chennai, Pudhucherry, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Pune.

Raghava Lawrence has been trying to prove himself as an actor. Only now has he been successfully noticed.

As for the heroines Padma Priya, Lakshmi Rai and Sandya all of them just are on the screen merely as extras they have a song or two to their credit.

The character who stands out in the film is that of the interpreter to MS Bhaskar who in turn plays chief to the tribe. This tribe speaks a language concocted by Chimbu with inputs from Turkish and Cantonese. The translations of this strange language were the only parts you would want to smile or sometimes even laugh out aloud.

The cliché is the irrelevant use of modern day lingo and happenings and to an extent references of modern day reality shows. These are brought in to provide a comic relief but the product does not seem to have the authenticity of the era or the genre. It looked more like the spoof film Tamil Padam which released of late.

The narration could have used the treasure hunt as the background for the story, but sadly it's only in the last 20 minutes, this portion kept the audience glued and they thoroughly enjoy it. However the splurge of money is seen towards the end with the sets for the treasure hunt, which also includes a 350-feet statue (like the laughing Buddha).

This film has been made to target an audience between the age group of five to 15 - not that an adult cannot watch it and enjoy it. Chimbu has succeeded in making a family film.

The idea looked like it was conceived over a few drinks and a fancy for a different theme than the usual run of the mill story. The narration looked like it started off as a fancy and ended up a chore that they had to bring in a treasure hunt to finish the full circle.

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