CAST AND CREW
Production: A Mercury Networks, Anthony
Cast: Akhil, Chethan, George, John Vijay, Karunas, Krisha, Naren, Ritvika, Suresh, Thambi Ramaiah , Thejasvini, Vinodhini, Zia
Music: Ved Shankar Sugavanam
Background score: Ved Shankar Sugavanam
Cinematography: Vijay Armstrong
Editing: B Pravin Baaskar
Art direction: K Kalai Murugan
Lyrics: Na Muthukumar
PRO: K Riaz
Remember that beautiful song from director Vasanth’s Satham Podadhey sung by Shankar Mahadevan, composed by Yuvan and featuring Prithviraj delighting himself in the presence of gorgeous infants? Yes, the title of that song Azhagu Kutti Chellam becomes the title of this film.
As the name says, Azhagu Kutti Chellam (AKC) has infants at its core and though there are many sets of adult characters, these adorable, innocent little babies hold pivotal parts. Those who love babies would have many ‘aww’ moments whenever these cute beings are on screen.
The script of AKC is based on the ‘butterfly effect’ and many coincidences which keep happening in succession (more so after the intermission) thereby affecting the characters in the film. Ultimately, the tale is resolved in the best interests of all, with all emotional gaps being filled.
A young pair of lovers who bond over chess, an auto driver who is desperately expecting his pregnant wife to deliver a baby boy, a noble man running an orphanage, a married pair in distress over losing their child, a teacher who isn’t able to conceive and 4 students at her Christian school who are focused on putting up a great stage play, are some of the important characters in the film.
Coming to the performers in the film, Karunaas is A-Rate as the desperate auto driver while his son Ken also seems to be a natural, in the role of a smart kid at the orphanage.
Thambi Ramaiah, Naren, Vinodhini and Ritwika are all as bankable as ever. We also have senior actor Suresh in the role of a father at the Christian school. John Vijay brings about some comic relief as a junior artist agent in cinema. There are some new introductions and many young child actors who have done their parts pretty well.
The music by Ved Shankar is the film’s single biggest standout factor, with a very poignant and melodious title track. His re-recording lifts our film viewing experience and he shows good variety in his background scores.
Quite a talent, this Rahman protégé is. The extensive kidnapping sequence in the 2nd half involving the school kids, followed by a little chase with a policeman, is the film’s best sequence. DoP Vijay Armstrong’s work and the edits for this sequence are engaging and involve us in the proceedings.
Ultimately, AKC is a film made by director Charles for his apparent love of children, and also chess. Rarely do we see this intellectual sport used in the Tamil cinema space as extensively as Charles has done.
AKC does bring about a TV sitcom effect and doesn’t have the elements of a grand cinematic experience. The first half takes its time to get going with all the characters getting introduced one by one.
But it is a genuine attempt made honestly on a very humble budget, and having the right emotions. This low-key effort deserves some support from the audience.
Verdict: Azhagu Kutti Chellam is meant for the love of infants, it is beautiful too! But lacks gloss.