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Chithiram Pesudhadi Synopsis: The lives of a dozen characters, both good and bad, are interlinked by one common theme – money.
Chithiram Pesudhadi Movie Review: First off, Chithiram Pesudhadi 2 isn’t a sequel to the 2006 film which marked the debut of director Mysskin. The title is just a clear case of a film team using a previous successful title simply for recall value. That said, the film, under its previous title, Ulaa, had been lying in the cans for over the past few years, and perhaps needed this change in title for business reasons. This particular bit of history is important because the film’s genre – hyperlink cinema – would have been somewhat of a novelty if it had released earlier. But now, that novelty is lost because we have seen a handful of films – someone even better than this one, like Maanagarm and Kurangu Bommai – in Tamil cinema.
The film begins with an attempted murder. Thiru (Vidaarth), a gun-for-hire, and Salim (Ashok) try to murder Sadasivam, a moneybag. But as they are fleeing the scene, they are spotted by Kathir (Nandan Loganathan), who is on his way to meet his girlfriend Priya (Gayathrie) with the intention of eloping. Nandu chooses to save Sadasivam. This incident sets off a Butterfly Effect – Priya, who is waiting for Nandu, has her belongings stolen by small-time criminals Senthil (Nivas Adithan) and Pazhani (Blade Shankar); Vicky (Ajmal), a musician, agrees to blackmail a minister (Azhagamperumal) in the hope of getting money to pay off Sadasivam and reclaim his house; Parasuraman (Naren) decides to rob Manikandan (Subbu Panchu), Sadasivam’s friend who ordered the execution, by roping in Senthil, Pazhani and Priya’s father, a professor. Then, there are Durga (Radhika Apte), Sadasivam’s wife, who wants to kill him; Dhanam (Niveditha), a prostitute who Senthil is madly in love with; Nandita (Priya Banerjee), Vicky’s girlfriend, who tries to get back at her brother who is the reason behind her boyfriend’s problems; and a criminal gang that has kidnapped a teenaged girl and is sharing a hideout with Thiru.
To his credit, Rajan Madhav manages to seamlessly weave in all these storylines together, and also neatly ties up the knots. There is a certain level of competence and also a moral centre (in a film filled with characters with a touch of grey) that makes us somewhat overlook the relatively minor flaws.
But the problem is that the film becomes predictable after a point. But more importantly, the storytelling lacks intensity and a sense of urgency (despite the swish cuts) that is very crucial to films in this genre. The commercial compromises, in the form of a couple of songs (cricketer Dwayne Bravo makes an appearance in one and even sings!), only make it all the more apparent. None of the strands actually keeps us in a state of anxiety over the fate that could befall the characters. The characters are actually one-note. Take them away from this plot, and you might not find any use for them. It doesn’t help that the performances, too, are just functional.
That said, the film does gives its female characters agency. All the four female characters are written as independent women who aren’t afraid to make their own choices and stand by those. And in a film that is predominantly filled with make characters, thus feels commendable.