Kaaka Muttai

Watched this movie last week, a movie that has a simple story-line that effortlessly portray’s characters – folks living in slums without demeaning the key characters !!

  • Celebrity endorsements and their public appearances create aspirations and desires in everyone’s mind
  • A family struggling to feed itself can get two freebie TVs on the same day but is not able to get ration provisions!
  • picking charcoal spilled from goods training transporting them to thermal station for about Rs.10 a day is a reason to not send kids to school
  • no matter what some folks find a way to throw away everything good fortune that comes their way
  • The haves discriminate the have not based on how they appear without ever realizing it (at the minimum are judgmental)
  • How news channel are driven about the sensational aspect of news- news anchor is doing a high-pitched reporting from the spot about two kids and they walk past and no one notices them
  • How every kid can be enterprising when there is a need – distribute pots of water, drunkard retrieval service, trade pani poori for shirts

The director impresses and gets lot of kudos for not  obsessing over any one aspect of slum dweller’s life, instead crafts a brilliant story-line around everyday life and moves the plot at rapid pace. There was lots of opportunity to create filmy histrionics but he has resisted temptation and let the characters he has build play it out. Like me if you have very little about the movie there are times when you anticipate a certain plot trajectory and director uses subtle twists to take plot in another direction. Focus on key characters -two kids for 90% of time but avoid any possible situation to reveal their actual name is movie making at its brilliance. The movie so engrossing that we debated after the movie if it had sub-titles or not (actually had sub-titles)!

This small family at the center of plot displays innocence that can be assigned to their surroundings/upbringing, experiences small dramas, bouts of sadness, helplessness, even small pleasures  but wakes-up everyday and tries to live life fullest with whatever they have. So one of those movies I enjoyed watching (there was lots of places where there was spontaneous applause from audience), able to empathize with key characters and their daily struggles, yet emerge from the movie energized  with hope  and possibilities of humans …


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