Tamil star STR and director Gautham Menon’s Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu Part I: The Kindling had a theatrical release in Telugu as Life of Muthu on September 17th. Let’s see how it fares.
Story: To safeguard his mother and younger sister, Muthu( STR) an educated youngster from Andhra goes to Mumbai to earn money. Who helps Muthu to go Mumbai? What kind of incidents will Muthu face there? How will he emerge as a gangster, forms the crucial crux.
Performances: Simbu’s changeover in various stages of life is presented in an impressive manner. His mannerisms and impressive screen presence are major assets for the film. Especially, he stunning makeover with a thick beard during the last ten minutes of the film is amazing and raises expectations on the second part.
Heroine Siddhi Idnani did her purposeful role decently. She is beautiful on screen as a middle-class girl and her combination scenes with Simbu are executed neatly.
Radhika Sharathkumar is fine in her mother role. Siddique, Aangelina Abraham, Neeraj Madhav among others are fine in the supporting roles.
Technicalities: Music by AR Rahman is just okay. Surprisingly, none of the songs register. Rahman’s background work shines at parts in the second half.
The editing work by Anthony is not up to the mark. The photography by Siddhartha Nuni is good as he showcased the rustic location in and around Mumbai superbly with his lens.
The Telugu version dubbing work is done neatly. Production values for this actioner are alright.
Analysis: Director Gautham Menon’s thought of making a gangster drama in Mumbai backdrop is not a bad idea. Even though the story has no novelty, the director would have at least focused on the presenting the film with a racy screenplay. Sadly, the execution part comes as a major defect for the movie.
The flat and dull proceedings in the first half of the film will literally disconnect the audience from the film. As the audience will be totally exhausted with the painful first half, the latter half fails to create much impact despite have a decent scene order.
To summerize, Life of Muthu is a below-par gangster drama that has a few engaging moments in the second half. Watch it in the theaters if you have enough time or else wait for an OTT release.
Verdict: Slow-paced actioner!