Mookuthi Amman (2020 -Disney Hotstar) The Goddess And Religion

Amman Padam (Mythology film) was a rage in the 90s in Tamil cinema which had a sample template of a believer suffering and her problems being solved by her favourite deity. The template died a slow death thanks to the rise of cable tv and the primary audience shifted from theatres to home.

R J Balaji’s LKG was a good satire, which gave a ringside view of the election campaign even though it trivialized a lot of complicated stuff. Mookuthi Amman tries to address the age-old tale of fake godmen and commercialization of religion, but it falters to a large extent. The subplot of the film is interesting which could have been a better family drama.
The film begins with Engles Ramaswamy (R J Balaji) a local scribe who is reporting for the past six years about the land grab deal by Godman Bhagwati Baba (Ajay Ghosh). The film fails in this central conflict as to why no one else has protested against the projects so far. It seems he is the only person who is bothered about it. The villain is represented comically, but that becomes the undoing of the character. For technically we do not see he doing any harm to anyone apart from laundering money.
The film would have been actually interesting if it would have focused on family issues. What happens if the patriarch of the house abandons his duties and how do people cope up when the father leaves without any explanation is the interesting crux of the film, but is relegated to parts. However, whenever it appears that was the most enjoyable part of the film.
Nayanthara as Amman is perfect casting, she exudes the confidence and charm needed for the character. The film belongs to Urvashi, a wife waiting for her husband, a single parent raising her children, and in the end realising she does not need a man to live her life.  She is the soul of the movie, and it dips when she disappears from the film.
R J Balaji seems confused about what kind of film he wants to make. Is it a social satire or family comedy with layers of drama? Morever the shifting of the subplots does not work in the film alongwith the fact that many gags fall flat and do not create any impact. While LKG had similar issues here it is amplified due to inconsistency in writing hampers the entertainment quotient of the film.

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