Sun Pictures‘ Tamil film Dindukkal Sarathy, directed by Siva Shanmugham and starring comic actor Karunas is inspired by Sreenivasan’s Malayalam hit Vadakku Nokki Yanthram. It is about a dark, seemingly untalented man, who harbours deep-seated insecurities about his looks and personality, and yet manages to get a beautiful woman as a bride.
That becomes the bane of Dindukkal Sarathy’s (Karunas) life. Even as his mother (Saranya) and poet friend Ka Ka Kavirayan (M S Bhaskar) hurry up with the wedding plans, Sarathy, who runs a press, spends time writing to psychologists about his ‘terrible’ looks, seeking advice on improving himself. It doesn’t matter that his bride Vasanthi (Karthika) sees no problems marring their wedded bliss. But for Sarathy, life suddenly turns into a nightmare, where his brother, neighbours, policemen and practically every man is out to get his wife — because he think he’s inferior.
Matters go downhill quickly and within months, Sarathy’s family becomes alienated from him. He loses his press, and becomes a near-lunatic. Life, it seems, holds no more pleasure, despite having a beautiful and loving wife.
For Karunas, this role is a dream come true. As the mildly suspicious husband at first and later, a chronically depressed maniac, he does a neat job. It says a lot for his work that after a certain point, he ceases to be just a comedian and invokes a good deal of sympathy. Indeed, his performance is bound to touch a chord in anyone who has suffered from inferiority complexes about their appearance.
Karthika is the good-humoured girl, who is puzzled about her husband’s weird behaviour. When she finally understands his actions and breaks down, she makes you sympathise with her whole-heartedly.
But it is Saranya who clearly out-performs everyone. She’s irritated, vulnerable and the irate mother-in-law to the last, a role that doesn’t come her way too often.
M S Bhaskar’s incomprehensible poetry produces guffaws, while the others, like Shanmugarajan, are simply added for colour.
Dhina’s music is complete kuthu almost all the time, barring one Paruthikkadu, which seems to jump out at you with its sensitivity and sorrow.
Siva Shanmugam has worked quite hard on his script and it shows, as he balances humour with seriousness — but he could have done well to trim the latter half.
If you’re looking for a combination of humour and a reasonably good plot, here’s your bet.