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Miruthan Review: A Cluttered Zombie Tale

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The protagonist in Miruthan wakes up one morning and finds his neighbourhood eerily quiet and abandoned. His baby sister is missing, and while he is searching for her, a disfigured man tries to eat him up. And a little girl with a ghostly face jumps onto him, and tries to bite him.

It turns out that a deadly virus is rampaging through the sleepy small-town of Ooty, turning people into brainless zombies. The law and order mechanism has crashed, and the ministry has declared an emergency in the district. Meanwhile, a team of doctors try to develop an antidote overnight.

Shakthi Soundar Rajan’s Miruthan ushers us into this dystopian world.

*****

This isn’t the first Indian Zombie film. In 2013, director-duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K had made Go Goa Gone. It stayed loyal to the absurdness of its storyline – people turning into zombies after using a certain drug – and didn’t pretend to be a serious film. Saif Ali Khan played a gun-wielding drug Mafia don who said, “I keel dead people” in a Russian accent. He and his accomplice killed zombies and potential zombies like they were Malaria-spreading mosquitoes. There was no long-drawn melodramatic sequence; with every character in the movie just wanting to survive. This was a movie that was unpretentiously entertaining and fun.

But Miruthan clumsily blends many genres – Horror, thriller, romance and comedy. It tries to be serious and funny at the same time. And falls flat many a time. While the central theme it handles is pretty novel and engaging, Miruthan has all the typical Kollywood movie ingredients – The hero has a funny sidekick, and the heroine has a selfish and villainous fiancé. Also there is a cute younger sister for whom the hero would give up anything for. It has idealistic characters who place love for others above one’s own survival, and the climax stunts can put even zombie logic to shame.

Also, the zombies in Miruthan aren’t regular zombies. They are repelled by water, like rabid dogs. They can leap from buildings and land unhurt. Basically, they are brain-dead rabid cannibals with super-powers.

*****

Jayam Ravi plays Karthik, a young traffic policeman who is forced to drive a team of doctors to a Coimbatore hospital through a zombie-infested region. One of the doctors is Renuka (Lakshmi Menon), the daughter of a wealthy and influential politician. Little does she know that Karthik is head-over-heels in love with her.

Also with them is Renuka’s father (RNR Manohar), Karthik’s sister Vidya (Baby Anikha), and his colleague (Kali Venkat).

The romantic-track in the movie progresses naturally. Well, almost. What glaringly sticks out is the presence of the supporting cast. For instance, Kaali Venkat’s stout traffic policeman, who is too scared to hold a gun steady, is a character that would look perfect in a movie like Go Goa Gone. He is funny, and his lines have the audience in splits. But in a movie that wants to be a serious horror-drama, his jokes are out-of-place. Same goes for RNR Manohar, whose character displays the utmost stupidity in the most serious of situations.

*****

The film’s VFX work is neat and seamless, and D Imman’s music is catchy. Jayam Ravi is an actor who plays every role earnestly, if not effectively. He looks earnest as a policeman, as a lover, as a brother, and even as a zombie. Lakshmi Menon plays a dignified and matured doctor, and she fits the role. Anikha’s casting is strange, for she looks young enough to be Ravi’s daughter.

Miruthan is impressive in parts where it is less ambitious, where it just wants to be an innocent horror-thriller. But with numerous uncoordinated – and pretentious –  sequences thrown in together, the movie ends up an inept, cluttered mess. 

*****

The Miruthan review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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