Director: K Manikandan
Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Ritika Singh, Pooja Devariya, Nasser
Director Manikandan, who gave us the lovely film called, Kaaka Muttai on the travails of two little boys angling for a pizza, takes us this time to a completely different theme in Aandavan Kattalai. Vijay Sethupathi -- in his usual subdued performance (that has often reminded me of Marlon Brando) is a bit more evocatively expressive here as Gandhi, a strapping youth who journeys from a village near Madurai to Chennai in search of a British visa. He plans to get a tourist permit, enter the UK and find work. But there are obstacles. The travel agent who promises to arrange the visa insists that the papers can be easily had if Gandhi were to be married, and so he thinks up of a fictitious name, Karmeghakuzhali.
Unfortunately, the visa does not come through, with Gandhi true to his name, refusing to lie at the British Consulate. But as fate would have it, his new employer in Chennai, a master of a drama company (Nasser), gets an invitation to perform with his troupe in England. He wants Gandhi, whom he presumes to be a bachelor, to go along. The man is in a fix and his tryst with the passport office begins, his attempts to get his ‘wife’s’ name erased leading to one hurdle after another with crooked lawyers and court clerks making merry. One advocate suggests that Gandhi file for a divorce through mutual consent, and, well, he has to find a woman whose name is also Karmeghakuzhli.
A bit of farfetched coincidence, Karmeghakuzhli (Ritika Singh), a television anchor, crosses Gandhi’s path, and as the title of the movie -- God’s Will (in English) -- conveys, what follows is precisely that.
Singh is quite a natural, at her fiery best that we saw of her as a fisher-woman-turned-wrestling champ in Irudhi Suttru (paired opposed Madhavan), and evokes the right chemistry with Sethupathi -- who is now evolving into a more communicative self in a work that need not have been 150 minutes long. And it could have excised the buffoonery at the beginning with Yogi Babu as Gandhi’s friend. But yes, Manikandan has been bold enough to get his film going without songs -- though the background score is often bawling for attention.
Watch the trailer of Aandavan Kattalai here: