Cast: Prasanna Venkatesan, Archana Singh
Director: Sabarinathan Muthupandian
Duration: 2 hrs 8 mins
If Chinnanjiru Kiliye had a star as its lead, it would have resembled action thrillers like Yennai Arindhaal and Kuttram 23. But given its modest budget and the lack of stars, director Sabarinathan Muthupandian’s ambitions are somewhat different.. to gives us a more realistic drama. His protagonist Manickam (Senthilnathan) is a naturopathy practitioner with a strong distrust of allopathic medicine. For him, unave marundhu. In fact, he gets angry when his daughter, Chittukuruvi (Baby Pathivaththini) is taken to a medical camp after she suffers a cut.
As fate would have it, that very incident leads to his daughter getting kidnapped. Though he manages to find the girl, he decides to go after the group that has grievously injured her and expose their nefarious activities.
At least as a premise, Chinnanjiru Kiliye seems interesting – a common man finding himself in the middle of a conspiracy and trying to deal with it in his own way. Then, there is also a father-daughter relationship angle, which is a fail-safe bet.
But despite its best intentions, Chinnanjiru Kiliye comes across as a film that is let down by its writing. While it is refreshing to see a protagonist who cannot fight back, his methods to uncover the medical crime happening around him feels Quixotic. He first goes to the cops, who are unconcerned about the issue and even seem to be in collusion with the criminals. And so, he decides to go after then himself. So far so good. But what he does is merely be a fly on the wall, witnessing the crimes. There is no effort to collect evidence that he can present to the other arms of the law. With no precautions and only good intention, he blindly goes after the kidnappers, ignoring the fact that his daughter needs him, making his action feel reckless.
Finally, there is the all-out attack on ‘English medicine’ that has a strong whiff of the ‘Nam munnorgal ondrum muttalgal alla’ indoctrination. The filmmaker resorts to generalising and demonises hospitals, medical camps and doctors. Given that we are in a pandemic, when there are people who mistrust vaccines, this only feels irresponsible.