Oru Naal Koothu
Cast: Dinesh, Mia George, Nivetha Pethuraj, Karunakaran
Director: Nelson Venkatesan
A pleasing film after what seemed like several arid weeks, Nelson Venkatesan’s Oru Naal Koothu deals with the great Indian obsession called marriage. Three women are desperate to hook a husband, and through a neatly crafted work, the director spins a story that mercifully steers clear of theatrics and unnecessary verbiage.
Disc jockey Susheela (Riytwika) has to often camouflage her emotions when she is on air pretending to be a happy-go-lucky woman, which she is not. For, her fiancé wants to dump her, and the woman worries herself to death thinking about societal shame over a broken engagement.
Kavya (Nivetha Pethuraj) falls in love with a colleague of hers, Raj (Dinesh), in the IT firm that she works, but familial compulsions and poverty come in the way of the rich girl marrying the poor guy. He wants to give himself two more years when he feels he will be financially stronger and somewhat her equal. But she is mesmerised by marriage.
Watch the trailer of Oru Naal Koothu here:
Finally, we have Lakshmi (Mia George), who is so meek that she lets her school-teacher father ride roughshod over her as he rejects one prospective groom after another, while she keeps hoping against hope for that magical marriage to happen. When she finally decides to step outside her father’s Lakshman-Rekha, the boy turns out to be a weakling firmly in the grip of his overbearing mother.
Oru Naal Koothu may seem outdated to the modern generation given to a lot of freedom. Honestly, no modern woman can be so desperate to walk up the altar as Venkatesan’s protagonists appear to be. Can a woman go around begging a man to marry her, like the way Susheela does? And can a woman be in such a hurry that she cannot wait for her lover to steady himself? The story stumbles here.
But if one were to overlook this, the film is a pleasant watch sans the kind of heroics and bloodshed that Tamil cinema has of late got itself entangled with.
And more importantly, the narrative does not get bogged down in needless songs and dances. Nor does Oru Naal Koothu let background score play the intrusive spoil sport.
Add to this the engaging performances by George, Pethuraj and Riytwika -- the only damper in this lovely group happens to be Dinesh, who is terribly wooden -- and Venkatesan’s work is gratifying.