Director: Paneer Selvam
Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Tanya, Bobby Simhaa and Pasupathy
You put Vijay Sethupathi in a silly film; I bet you wouldn’t have any complaints about his performance. This philosophy applies to his latest outing, Karuppan, in which he plays a village ruffian and an alcoholic-wastrel and he does everything to salvage a film that’s stuck in the 1980s. Nevertheless, director Paneer Selvam’s Karuppan is mostly a banal village drama where the clichés keep piling up, scene after scene, and it reaches a point where one could easily guess who would’ve stabbed the villain from the back.
Karuppan gives us a Vijay Sethupathi to celebrate in a full-blown rural avatar and his thick mustache adds panache to his look. He has a ball playing the role. He drinks to old MGR songs and fights to Ajith’s Aaluma Doluma. Thankfully, the director spares us the torture of sitting through a romantic track. Here, Karuppan and Anbu (Tanya) get married quite early on and we get some lovely moments between them. We also get a fierce heroine. The first time she meets Karuppan, she doesn’t hesitate to slap him. She rides a bullet, and later a jeep. Tanya is very good and this is just her third/fourth film. She plays her part confidently and it’s not easy to shine in the same frame that has Vijay Sethupathi.
The problem with Karuppan is not its predictable story but the way it’s treated by the director makes it a tiring watch. For instance, when he introduces Bobby Simhaa, he’s seen holding a cobra, and it’s a hint that his character is full of venom. But we don’t get to see anything vicious from Bobby, who lusts after Anbu because he grew up with the dreams of marrying her. Then, there’s Pasupathy as the loyal but ignorant brother who can’t differentiate between right and wrong.