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Sutrula Review: A Dead Game

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Actor Richard and Actress Nisha in Sutrula Movie Stills“Hunting is his hobby…” a dull narrator explains at the beginning of Sutrula.

He also repeats most of his sentences in Tamil.  Like the late Major Sundarrajan.

Kaatla ulla kodiya mirugangalai kolla avarukku pudikkum…”

As he speaks, this bilingual stater of the obvious, two sidekicks of the villain – Johnny (Richard) – chase a funny looking CGI boar (no animals were harmed and all that) and confine it to a wooden cage.

The narrator then explains that Sutrula is about a deadly killer. No, not the boar, thank you very much.

*****

Johnny rides a red convertible, sports a leather jacket (to shield himself from the harsh weather of Ooty), and repeats a punchline with a poker face: It’s a game of death.

His cigarette lighter too, is shaped like a gun.

Does that make him scary enough? No. So, he frequents a hotel to rape girls, who are accompanied by their “illegal jodi.”

Some morals there.

*****

Johnny then meets Deepa (Sriji), who comes to his “regular” hotel with her “illegal jodi”. And here, it has to be said that Johnny doesn’t hatch a plot to kidnap his girls. It’s too main-stream for him. So, he goes to Deepa’s room in broad daylight.

I expect him to knock on the door.

But Johnny is suddenly reminded that he is a deadly killer and all; so he barges in without knocking.

He finds the girl praying. Johnny breaks down at the sight and rushes to a cemetery. He is a changed man now.

Even when another girl solicits his company, he turns her down. But, he doesn’t simply walk away.

He makes her change her mind. At gun-point.

A voice in the audience hoots: Ippove kanna kattudhey!

*****

Johnny plays a game now. To separate Deepa and her boyfriend.  Some game this is. It is called the Game of Death.  And a break from the stellar Tamil cinema tradition of inventive games. Remember Goundamani, Gentlemen?

Johnny’s murder-marathon begins.  Here, I borrow one of Johnny’s expressions: A poker face.

Yet another voice in the audience comments: Venaam, valikuthu, azhudhuruven…

The rest of the movie too, unfolds thus.

Sutrula also fails to create the mood for a thriller because of its production values. Every minute, I am reminded that I’m watching Sutrula with a group of college students, who are having a whale of time, bursting into laughter every time Johnny says, “It’s a game of death!”

One of them is engrossed in Candy Crush, which would rank as marginally more interesting than The Game of Death.

*****

Sutrula – the way it begins – is reminiscent of one of the most interesting movies in Tamil cinema: Oomai Vizhigal. It also reminds me of these beautiful songs from the film.

That movie had some arresting scenes, alright.

*****

 The Sutrula 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 an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site. But you knew that, didn’t you?

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