Cast: Mu Ramasamy, Nagavishal
In the charming new Tamil film KD, Karuppu Durai is an 80-year-old man, weighed down by sorrow. Just as he wakes from a coma, he hears his children planning to kill him through a form of euthanasia practiced in his village. It makes the old man leave his home behind and run away. But the day that Karuppu Durai becomes KD, he starts shedding his insecurities and his sadness and sets out to embrace life. It all has to do with meeting a street-smart, 8-year-old orphan Kutty, who nicknames him KD, and teaches him to be ‘jolly’ like him.
To watch KD is to be reminded of a whole bunch of such bittersweet films – Pixar’s animated gem Up, Takeshi Kitano’s Kikujiro, even the Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman starrer The Bucket List. The film’s premise is straightforward: an old man regains his zest for life when he takes a journey with a child who helps him tick off entries on his bucket list. But director Madhumita infuses a refreshing touch of originality to that familiar set up…like KD’s sheer gluttony for mutton biryani or his boisterous enthusiasm for Tamil superstar MGR. There’s a lively comic thread, especially through Kutty’s acerbic one-liners. This is a child who talks as if he’s far older than his years, and this is the rare instance where that isn’t irritating; it’s cute.
You’re also transported to scenic, rural Tamil Nadu and its village life, making you want to set off on a road trip yourself, not unlike the odd couple in the film. Madhumita lucks upon a terrific cast, with the excellent Mu Ramasamy playing KD, and Nagavishal playing the little tyke Kutty. The script does subsequently veer down a predictable path, but the tone remains upbeat. It’s one of those sweet, life-affirming, feel-good films that leaves you with a big smile on your face.
Sometimes that’s exactly what you need at the movies. I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five for KD.
Rating: 3.5 / 5