Mumbai, Aug 11 - In his over two decade-long career in films, Salman Khan is…
From the director of Naaigal Jaakirathai comes Miruthan, or well, Peigal Jaakirathai. They are not really peigal, or for that matter zombies, as the makers eagerly mentioned during the promotions, but simply “patients”, as doctor Renu (Lakshmi Menon) delicately puts it. You see, these are not undead people, like in zombie films, but simply citizens of Ooty, and later, Coimbatore, who have been infected by some sort of toxic chemical waste which causes the amplification of the ‘animal instincts in man’ that “exist here”, says a doctor, pointing to the back of his skull. If they were actually zombies, landing headshots would be a no-brainer, and a guilt-free exercise, but as they’re just infected people, Renu, who in an earlier scene is shown undertaking the Hippocratic oath (and with a clenched fist, no less), gets furious when traffic policeman Karthik (Jayam Ravi) guns them down, like balloons at a beach (which incidentally is a scene by itself in a love song). Her ethics hold good until she’s at the receiving end of an attack, when she almost implores Karthik to shoot the patient down. I’m sorry, but was that the hippocratic oath, or the hypocritical oath?
Genre: Action Horror
Director: Shakti Soudar Rajan
Cast:Jayam Ravi, Lakshmi Menon
Storyline: A traffic policeman has to help find a cure to the new disease in town
Renu, of course, isn’t the only woman Karthik has to protect. He is a Tamil hero, and Miruthan is Kollywood’s take on zombie films. So, he also has to ensure the safety of his little sister, Vidya, who, truth be told, looks more like his daughter. In a better film, she’d probably play his daughter, and his love for Renu would be better established than just by showing a photo of her in his wallet.
Nevertheless, I quite liked some of the action set-pieces, especially the one with Karthik driving a tempo, with dozens of infected people clinging to it à la the famous Fevicol ad.
At 106 minutes, there’s time for such love tracks, but there isn’t enough to do any justice to the science of the illness. The infected, for some reason, are allergic to water; though you’re shown some scientists who somehow seem to know how to create a vaccine overnight with limited medical supplies for this exotic disease, you’re not even given half-baked mumbo jumbo for why the infected are repelled by water. I only wish they’d treated the whole film either as a serious thriller, or tried to have a lot of fun. Like the scene in which the police stand guard at the border to stop people from leaving the town, but a politician with clout makes it out anyway. That’s native, organic humour, but there isn’t a lot of that in Miruthan, which suffers from the same malady that afflict many bad Tamil films: needless, forced melodrama, and a distinct lack of subtlety. I think it’s safe to say that we still don’t have our first zombie film.