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Movie Review: Kusthi (2006) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 80%%80%% 80% (6 votes)
Movie Still Some directors can effortlessly move from one genre to another and deliver entertaining films in both. Unfortunately, director Rajkapoor does not belong to that list. The director, who usually directs action film, has tried his hand at comedy with Kusthi and not been very successful. The film, which brings together Prabhu and Karthik after a long gap, is weak on logic and weaker on laughs.

Jeevanandham(Prabhu), on the run from his village where his uncle is forcing him to marry his daughter, teams up with Velu(Vadivelu) to make some money. Meanwhile Singam(Karthik), with a group of mean-looking friends, makes his living acting like a dada. Their paths cross when Jeeva ends up when going to rich man's house posing as his grandson while Singam also arrives there with a darker agenda.

As I had mentioned in the review of Jery, comedies weak on logic have a chance of working only if they are funny enough to make us not think about them. But Kusthi, like Jery's first half, makes the fatal mistake of being both illogical and unfunny. Sequences like Karthik's posing as a dada, Flora interviewing him since she is doing research on criminals to get a Ph.D(!) and the jeep ride that brings them both together elicit no laughter whatsoever. So we end up thinking about how silly the segments are. The situation continues in the second half with segments like a bad guy getting stuck in a mental hospital and being unable to escape.

The movie rambles along for a while with no hint of where its going. Individual scenes raise a few laughs but the lack of smoothness in the narrative as it jumps from one situation to another kills a lot of the humor. The film finds its bearing only after it moves to Kodaikkaanal. The means it uses to bring the players(especially Karthik) to the same place are good and pitting Prabhu against Karthik against each other generates some interest. But this little interest dissipates soon since that is resolved quickly and lamely.

Comedies mostly fall into the category where situations that have the potential to be funny are set up but the script fails to take advantage of them. But Kusthi is different in that there are no situations that even show the potential to be funny. This is especially evident in the second half, where comedies have to pick up the pace and really go all out to make us laugh. It brings together a large number of characters by placing them inside one house but that's about it. They are never really made use of to create confusion and chaos, the cornerstones of any good comedy. The characters simply go through the motions, mostly acting as if they are in a regular film.

Prabhu comes off looking better among the two past-their-prime heroes. Though he generates laughs mainly by playing off Vadivelu, he also plays it straight at times. Karthik, on the other hand, is over-the-top throughout. His dialog delivery gets on our nerves and he ends up being irritating most of the time. Vadivelu is responsible for most of the laughs in the film. As always, he is at the receiving end of most jokes and his exasperation is funny. He also has a little fun dressing up as an old man in the second half. Heroines Manya and Flora have little to do(the latter also has little to wear!) and don't make any kind of an impression.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam