The Story Frame
Kaaka Muttai is a Tamil Movie by a debutant director M. Manikandan who tells the story of two street urchins who longs to savour the steaming hot pizza one day. They live in a tiny concrete-and-tin dwelling in a slum in Chennai along with their mother and granny. Like any other children of their age, they too have their desires and demands - to have a mobile, a TV, and a steaming hot pizza they happened to see on TV - unaware and least bothered that both the women in their life can't afford to fulfill their small but costly demands. Actor Dhanush and filmmaker Vetrimaaran are the co-producers and Fox Star India the distributor. The film had its world premiere in the 39th Toronto International Film Festival, September, 2014 and was released worldwide on June 5th, 2015. It has won a string of awards - National Film Award for Best Children's Film and Ramesh and Vignesh, the two lead characters were awarded as Best Child Artists, and Audience Award at the Indian Film Festival Los Angeles.
Why Kaaka Muttai (Crow's Egg) has a significance as title and what makes the journey of these street urchins so touching and thought provoking is something to watch in a nearby theatre, that too with your family and kids for sure.
Cast: Vignesh (Periya Kaaka Muttai), Ramesh (Chinna Kaaka Muttai), Iyshwarya Rajesh (Mother), Joe Malloori (Pazharasam), Babu Anthony (Pizza Spot Owner), Silambarasan (as himself in a cameo), Ramesh Thilak, Yogi Babu, Krishnamoorthy
Language: Tamil (With English Sub Titles)
Story: M Manikandan
Director: M Manikandan
Producers: Dhanush & Vetrimaaran
Production Company: Wunderbar Films & Grass Root Film Company
Distributed by: Fox Star Studios
Music: GV Prakash Kumar
Film Editing by: Kishore
Cinematography: M Manikandan
Theatre Release: 5th June, 2015
Duration: 109 minutes
Reviewer's Thumb Mark
Kaaka Muttai speaks volumes of the social disparity through the eyes of Perriya Muttai and Chinna Muttai, the siblings who are the lead protagonists of the film. It is one of the most realistic film that has struck the right chord with the mass in India and abroad equally. The film and its debutant director is being highly appreciated for its wonderful depiction of the stark reality of life of people who live in the outskirts of the so-called society. It also shows how the politicians jump into the ring under the garb of seeking social justice to actually exploit the hapless by forging a nexus with the police system and the business class. The beauty of the movie is it depicts the story of each person and their class they represent without being judgmental and leave the viewers to ponder - who is right and who is wrong. The film doesn't indulge being preachy but takes us through an experiential journey to look beneath what we often see daily but fail to see what we need to see and understand. The movie brings you to cheers and at the same time it leaves you teary eyed. It makes you to introspect on which side of the fence you are - with Perriya Muttai and Chinna Muttai or on the other side - where the rich middle class boy who offers the leftover of his pizza to them. Is it sympathy, empathy or whether it is our act of making us free from guilt of being just spectators of the social vices we see and experience around? Perriya Muttai and Chinna Muttai is still there waiting on the other side of the fence looking at all of us for an answer.
Kaaka Muttai is a story of two siblings who make their living by toiling along the railway tracks collecting coal pieces that fall from the passing goods train. Their life in the slums, their relationship with other kids in their area, their rapport with their mother and granny, their ignorance about how hard their mother works to meet both the ends are all so beautifully captured that you fall in love with the characters and the filmmaker. The television advertisement that shows the mouthwatering steamy- hot pizza and how the siblings fall for it. How every act and talk of Perriya Muttai and Chinna Muttai's life becomes pizza-centric generates laughter but at the same time tugs your heart.
Ishywarya Rajesh has given a commendable and worth mentioning performance as a distraught mother caught between too many responsibilities of life in the absence of her husband who is in the jail's TB ward, taking care of her septuagenarian mother-in-law, her job and her two lovely brats.
Manikandan's cinematography is laudable, GV Prakash music is so apt to the scenes that it moves the viewers, and Kishore is adept in using his scissors well.
I am reminded what the Noble Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian children's right activist and an activist against child labour has said - "India has hundreds of problems and millions of solutions".
In short, Kaaka Muttai shall provide us ample protein to ignite our heart and mind so do not miss it to see what Perriya Muttai and Chinna Muttai have in store for you. Be ready to get captivated by their stellar performances.
Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 5/5