Irandam Ulagaporin Kadaisi Gundu movie review: Athiyan Athirai's anti-war thriller is subtle, but effectively delivers its message

Sreedhar Pillai

Dec 06, 2019 10:55:07 IST

3.25/5

Language: Tamil

Director Athiyan Athirai has made a sensational debut with his Irandam Ulagaporin Kadaisi Gundu, produced by mentor, noted director Pa Ranjith. It’s a meaningful anti-war film, made in an entertaining fashion, without becoming too preachy or documentary-like.

Pa Ranjith specialises in making films based on the downtrodden and the marginalised with a strong Marxist ideology, that are packaged as entertainers with romance, comedy and action. Irandam Ulagaporin Kadaisi Gundu also follows a similar format, but has a fresh and interesting plotline revolving around a ticking World War II vintage bomb that wasn't disposed of by a corrupt corporate.

Selvam (Dinesh) is a lorry driver who transports metal scraps at a scrap yard owned by Baasha (Marimuthu). Baasha constantly exploits his employees, who work on meagre salaries and in a hazardous environment without any health measures. When an angry Selvam takes up their cause, Baasha tries to frame him as a thief and encourages his cleaner Puncture (Munishkanth) to frame him as well, so that he can be promoted as a driver. Meanwhile, Selvam, who belongs to a lower caste, is in love with a girl from a forward caste, Chitra (Anandhi), a teacher. Chitra's family is against the match and subject her to black magic.

 Irandam Ulagaporin Kadaisi Gundu movie review: Athiyan Athirais anti-war thriller is subtle, but effectively delivers its message

A still from Irandam Ulagaporin Kadaisi Gundu. YouTube screengrab

One day, Selvam ends up transporting a huge load of metal scrap, and unknown to all concerned, there is an unexploded vintage bomb ticking away, leading to the opening of the pandora's box. On a parallel line, an investigative television reporter and an ‘anti-war’ crusader Tanya (Riythvika) is chasing an unexploded World War II bomb, that has washed on the shores of Mahabalipuram. A corporate company, run by an arms dealer (John Vijay), with political connections, was supposed to defuse the bomb, but they recovered it and dumped it back in the ocean.

In the past, many people had died when they had tinkered with such bombs, assuming they are iron scraps that have surfaced in coastal villages. And if further undefused bombs were found, it would open up the Rs 2000 crore scam for the disposal of these bombs. This kickstarts a race starts between the activist, corporate guys and a corrupt cop, who all try to locate the bomb at all costs.

Director Athiyan Athirai had all the ingredients to make the perfect mixture for a subtle anti-war film laced with black humour. And the film works because the story has something new to say. Moreover, the editing is crisp (clocking in at 141 minutes) with top-class camera work. The background score by debutant Tenma is in sync with the narrative. The documentary footage of the horrors of the bomb and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki being repeated is powerful. Athiyan takes a leaf from his mentor’s writing and successfully showcases caste, discrimination and exploitation of a capitalist society.

And as far as performances are concerned, Dinesh as the lorry driver is convincing and his romantic scenes with Anandhi are well-etched. However, it is Munishkanth, who travels throughout this road movie, who leaves a lasting impact. In one scene he brings the house down when he says the bombs manufactured in India never kill anybody because they never blast.

Irandam Ulagaporin Kadaisi Gundu is a well made anti-war thriller that delivers quite a blast due to smart writing and apt casting.

Rating: ***1/4

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Updated Date: Dec 06, 2019 12:29:47 IST