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CAST: Arun Vijay, Mahima Nambiar, Vamsi Krishna, Thambi Ramaiah, Aravind Akash, Abinaya, Arvind Bhargav
DURATION: 2 hours 34 minutes
KUTTRAM 23 SYNOPSIS: A case involving the disappearance of a pregnant woman turns into a personal one for the cop who is tasked with investigating it.
KUTTRAM 23 REVIEW: Kuttram 23 is slickly made pulp (the story is by crime novel specialist Rajeshkumar) that unfolds as a tense investigative thriller. It also provides us a delicious irony. Arun Vijay, who played an unrepentant criminal who indulges in medical crime in Yennai Arindhaal, is now on the other side, playing a cop whose investigation helps expose a medical crime racket! He is ACP Vetrimaran, who is handed over a sensitive case involving the disappearance of Jessica, a pregnant woman, who is the wife of TV channel boss. As Vetri starts investigating, he gets closer to Thendral (Mahima Nambiar), a witness in the case, on whom a murder attempt is made.
Meanwhile, on the home front, his sister-in-law, Abhinaya (Abhinaya) becomes pregnant after many years of marriage. However, she commits suicide and when Vetri probes, he realises that her death is connected to the murder of Jessica. And there are other pregnant women who have died under mysterious circumstances. What’s the link between these murders?
As he has shown since his debut Eeram, Arivazhagan has a flair for stylish visuals and with help from his cinematographer KM Bhaskaran, he has made Kuttram 23 a sleek film whose glossy frames look almost like they are from a TV commercial. But, unlike with his previous film, Aarathu Sinam, this time, his script is solid. It’s a testament to the script’s single-minded focus that even Thambi Ramaiah, who plays Vetri’s assistant and is mainly in the film to provide some humour, doesn’t stick out. And the performers and the crew are up to the task. Arun Vijay displays an intensity that is similar to what we saw from him in Yennai Arindhaal, and is effective as a determined cop. Mahima’s is a damsel in distress role, but she fits in perfectly. Vishal Chandrashekhar’s energetic score and Bhuvan Srinivasan’s nifty editing (a fight scene inside a hotel room is a standout) elevate the films moments of thrill.
The flaws are largely ones that are inherent to the genre. Since this is a whodunit, the final revelation feels rushed and when you think back on some of the developments in the film, they do not seem watertight. Then there are the issues of morality. This is a film that doesn’t bat an eyelid while saying that custodial deaths aren’t problematic (and are, in fact, the solution). And in trying to underline its message (adoption as an alternative for childless couples), it is also somewhat judgemental about couples who try to have a child through alternative pregnancy methods. But these are minor issues in a film that is immensely satisfying as a thriller from start to finish.