Kutty is an offbeat film directed and coproduced by Janaki Vishwanathan.The story is about child labour.The issue is not just about child labour, but also about the child’s ambitions and desires to live a free, normal life.
Kutty/Kannamma (Shweta) is a normal 10 or 12 year kid. She lives with her parents in a village down South. The parents are poor and work hard to earn a single meal everyday.Kutty is a girl who enjoys a carefree life with her friends. She is the most pampered child of her father (Nasser).Her mother dislikes the fact that he pampers her. The couple do have arguments because of this reason.
Kutty’s mother wishes that Kutty would be of great help to do the household chores. But Nasser dislikes this. Being a potter by profession, he wishes that Kutty should not do manual labour like him and wants her to go to school. So, he tries hard to save some money for her future education.
The father-daughter relationship in this film is very realistic. Nasser tries to protect Kutty from his wife whenever she tries to beat her. The love and affection that both share is truly a touching moment of the film.
Kutty’s life takes a dramatic turn when her father is killed in a tragic road accident. On the way to his village on a bullock-cart, he and his group of friends are killed by a speeding lorry. Now the poor girl is at the mercy of her mother, who scolds and beats her often.She often grumbles that the father (Nasser) has pampered her and she does no manual or household work.Kutty cries and runs to her granny. The granny feels sorry for both Kutty and her mother.
The granny suggests that she knows a childhood friend who can be of some help. So Kutty is sold off as a child maid to a rich couple in Chennai. A promise is being made that some money will be sent to Kutty’s mother to improve their financial condition. Her mother agrees to this proposition, but is worried that Kutty knows nothing about manual labour.Finally she is convinced by granny that they are really good people and will treat Kutty nicely.
It is true and Kutty enjoys a decent life as a maid. The couple played by actors Kousalya and Ramesh Aravind, treat her with love and affection. But their son dislikes that. Despite being of the same age as Kutty, he treats her badly. He gets scolded by his parents but refuses to mend his bad manners. The entry of Ramesh’s mother in law played by yesteryear actress M.N.Rajam makes matters worse for Kutty.The son and mother in law both ill treat her. Kutty sobs and suffers all the pain as the couple watch helplessly. She wishes to go back to her lovely village and lead a happy life again. A flashback is shown where she once enjoyed a village festival with her dad and mother.
A former maidservant who once worked at the apartment tells Kutty about the ill treatment she previously received by the same lady.
Kutty’s desire to escape to her native village grows on. As she is uneducated, she is unable to find the route to her village. She asks a shop-owner (Vivek) to help her, but even he is unable to help her.
A paan-walla guy helps her by sending her in a train. But is the train truly going to her village?Will she ever live the life that she dreams about? Will she be able to meet her mother in the village? The answers to these questions are revealed in an emotional climax. The character of the paan-walla is also revealed.
Kutty is an eye-opener to all of us. It makes us sad and think about child labour.In Tamil Nadu, children below the age of 15 are employed in factories and shops.Kutty makes us feel how fortunate we are!!Watching Kutty gave me a guilt conscience.Inspite of tough laws against child labour, the menace has still not ended.
Shweta is truly fabulous to watch. She emotes well on screen, making us instantly connect with her character.
Nasser also shines in his portrayal of the lovable dad.M.N.Rajam, Kousalya and Ramesh Aravind also impress with their performances.
The music composed by the maestro Illayaraja is delightful. The BGM is fantastic.
The direction is good. The story is good and the screenplay is tight enough to grab your attention. The film has no flaws but the only minus is that the story moves at a slightly slower pace initially.
Verdict: Must Watch Film