Comparisons are odious. For Rajinikanth and Mammooty are in different leagues. So are Malayalam original’s Srinivasan and copycat’s Pasupathy. With a script and story penned by himself, indisputably it is vintage Srinivisan one sees in Katha Parayumbol. Himself a seasoned thespian, he does not need a prop like Mammooty to ensure it’s superlative success. That Mammooty drew the curious crowds to the theatres, given short guest appearance, is another matter. Still, the original, essayed by debutant director M Mohanan, had the stamp of seasoned Srinivasan all over it. Sadly, the same cannot be said of Tamil xerox in Kuselan with P Vasu at helm.
For Pasupathy is no Srinivasan. The deftness Mohanan brought to Malayalam’s Katha sadly is absent in Vasu’s Tamil Kuselan. Kuselan, already carrying the heavy baggage of remake, is further weighed down by the fact that sans its superstar on whom it piggyrides, it simply falls flat for Pasupathy has no histrionics in him. He walks through the film like a zoombie resurrected from grave at an unholy hour. Furthermore, banking solely on crude comic escapades, risque dialogues and raunchy songs, tethered by an utterly unconvincing and incongruous run of lacklustre events, Kuselan neither entertains nor enthralls.
By the time the superstar appears one is already deep in snoozeville. Even after the superstar sashays in, Kuselan trundles towards it treacly and teary end where the tinsel town’s twinkling star meets up with his simple and unassuming boyhood barber mate for a friendly freeze frame, one is left pitying P Vasu & Co. For, even Style King Rajni Sir cannot lift Kuselan from the morass. This, even though Rajinikanth hogs a whole hour in Kuselan while Mammootty comes on whistle stop eight minutes. With Sivaji — The Boss still fresh in mind, Kuselan is a poor cousin that just goes kaput in trying to capture one’s mindspace. Just goes to prove that style is not all; substance too matters.