Usury aka kanthu vaddi is a perennial problem in the State.
Podhu Nalan Karudhi by debut director Zion is a movie about the power struggle between two big-shot loan sharks in Chennai and the inner dealings of those involved in the dangerous business.
The story revolves around three youngsters played by Karunakaran, Santhosh Pratap and Adith Arun. Santhosh is the right hand of a ruthless loan shark played by Yog Japee.
Adith Arun plays a hapless youngster whose life gets involved in the cruel world of usury and becomes a gangster due to circumstances. Karunakaran plays an innocent angry-young-man who is in search of his missing brother
How the lives of the three youngsters are interlinked and how they try to escape the dangerous situations amidst rising tension between the two warring loan-sharks is what the movie is all about. The director has weaved a complex storyline around the three youngsters with a variety of characters coming in and out. Although it gets confusing from time to time, the actions of the characters are explained a scene or two later.
A weighty portion of the film revolves around Santhosh. He goes around Chennai like he owns the city and thrashing anyone and everyone who crosses his or his boss’ way. He has made the role his own.
Karunakaran is at his usual best and makes the audience feel the frustration of a middle-class man searching for a lost brother. Yog Japee has fit the role of an emotionless cruel loan-shark to a T and deserves appreciation.
The women characters have little to no scope in the scheme of things. The director has also portrayed women on screen as needy beings with no regards for the men in their lives. He could have avoided as it has no connection with the storyline. That being said, the editing is crisp and the background score is riveting.
Podhu Nalan Karudhi is a movie without heroes as all characters have a tinge of grey. The director has taken the risk of making a movie with no songs or glamour and it has paid off. It has made the film exciting from start to finish.
The sum of performances by the actors and the efforts put in by the technicians is a bonus and elevate the film watching experience.