With Hara Hara Mahadevaki and Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu, is Tamil cinema finally embracing adult comedies?

Haricharan Pudipeddi

May,11 2018 16:35:24 IST

In less than a year, Tamil cinema has had two adult comedies – Hara Hara Mahadevaki and Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu. And both the films have done exceptionally well at the box office, ushering in a new wave of A-rated films which are strictly targeted at a section of the audiences and have earned good fan following. Interestingly, both these films have come from the same camp which — despite their share of brickbats and opposition from various quarters — have championed a genre that has rarely been explored before.

Last week saw the release of Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu, which revolves around a sex-starved ghost who dies a virgin and now wants to be satisfied. Despite its lame premise, the film struck gold at the ticket window, taking the best opening for an adult comedy. According to the film’s director Santhosh P Jayakumar, they set out to make a full-blown, A-rated, sleaze fest of an entertainer. “We made Hara Hara Mahadevaki to test the audiences and see their reception for this kind of content. We were cautious of what we were making, and hence didn’t go all the way. Even though promoted as an adult comedy, it wasn’t fully one in its truest sense. But the response for the film surprised us and we knew audiences were ready for more. Therefore, when we had set out to make Iruttu Araiyil…, we didn’t want to dilute what we were making. We believe we made a true-blue adult comedy and it clicked.”

Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu and Hara Hara Mahadevaki. Images via Twitter

Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu and Hara Hara Mahadevaki. Images via Twitter

It’s not like Tamil cinema didn’t have its share of attempts at making adult comedies. The 2015 GV Prakash-starrer Trisha Illana Nayanthara explored three stages in the life of a young boy. Even though the film was certified A by CBFC for its theme and was promoted as an adult comedy, it never rose above titillating audiences with double-entendre-filled dialogues. The 2016 Jiiva and Kajal Aggarwal starrer Kavalai Vendam also dabbled with the adult comedy angle. According to its director Deekay, the final cut of the film that released in cinemas wasn’t the original version. “For reasons I can’t disclose, we had to cut a different version of the film. There’s still resistance when it comes embracing adult comedy content. But, I’m glad it’s finally changing and that’s a good sign.”

Shot in flat 23 days, Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu was originally scheduled to be released in March this year. Unfortunately, it had to be postponed due to the Kollywood strike. The film has emerged as a crowd-puller, bringing audiences to cinemas in hordes. “We’re surprised with the kind of occupancy we’ve seen for the film across theatres in Tamil Nadu. Even on a Monday, the film saw over 70 percent occupancy all over which is huge for a film that doesn’t feature stars. It has worked big time with its target audiences which is proof to the craze for the genre,” a distributor on the condition of anonymity told Firstpost.

There’s resistance for adult comedies within the industry. Firstpost exclusively learnt from an industry insider that an actor – a well-known face — refused to release a single from Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu because he didn’t want to be associated with such films. A leading producer pointed out that such resistance stems from the fact that most established stars in Tamil cinema enjoy a strong family audience base and they fear it might be affected when they associate themselves with these kinds of projects.

Actor Gautham Karthik, who played the titular role in Hara Hara Mahadevaki and Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu, said he had qualms about being part of these films. “As an actor, I don’t like to restrict myself. My dream is to work across all genres. Santhosh and I will do another adult comedy but before that we want to work on a different genre. I’m aware that people can easily typecast when you do certain kind of films and that’s why we brought in the horror angle in Iruttu Araiyil… to balance things out.”

Updated Date: May 11, 2018 16:35 PM