This Tamil dark comedy with three main eccentric stories arrested me from its very opening credits on a black screen.
The first story has an unfaithful wife whose life turns into a whirlpool when she finds her secret lover dead on her bed right after having sex.
The second story has a group of students who gather to watch porn only to find that the leading lady in it is the mother of one of the boys.
The third and the most sensitive story has a small kid who is eagerly waiting at the arrival of his father after a long absence. But to his surprise, his father is now a transgender woman.
All these stories then branch out with more engaging subplots until its expository and sometimes philosophical ending about existence and the origin of life, the design pattern and similarity of the universe, solar system and atomic structure of atoms.
But I must admit that the way one subplot unfolded, I wish it was done differently. Nevertheless, the powerful performances kept me glued to the seat. Even its almost three hours running time which again I thought could have trimmed down a little bit, I didn’t mind.
Though all the cast standout, its Vijay Sethupathi as the transgender woman who steals the show. His portrayal of Shilpa is heartfelt and compassionate. The scene where he dresses up in front of his shocked wife Jyothi played wonderfully by Gyathrie is stunning.
Bagavathi Perumal also turns in an outstanding performance as Berlin, a sadistic cop that I wanted to strangle him to death so badly.
But the real star of this film is writer-director Thiagarajan Kumaraja for weaving such an engaging narrative with multiple subplots. And through these subplots, he not only exposed the real problems persisting in Chennai but also India as a whole.
Another striking feature is the cinematography by Nirav Shah and P.S. Vinod. The use of colours, the lighting, the camera shots and movements are exquisite. Even the first scene grabbed my attention that I knew I was going to watch something special.
The original music by Yuvan Shankar Raja added more depth to the unfolding stories evoking sadness, sympathy and menace.
This film is a winner. It is highly recommended.