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ONAAYUM AATTUKKUTTIYUM (Tamil/2013) - Don’t miss this amazing, hell of a ride with the MASTER at work and at his best. (Movies To See Before You Die - Thriller)

18 Dec, 2018 | Movie Reviews / 2013 Releases / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi) / Movies To See Before You Die / Thrillers

An unconventional, experimental thriller that will force you to witness it uninterrupted, getting deeply engrossed in its fast paced unpredictable proceedings and the lead characters, ONAAYUM AATTUKKUTTIYUM is certainly going to be one hell of a ride, staying with you for long after the end credits start rolling for sure.
The title literally meaning The Wolf And The Lamb, this is not just one of those well-made routine thrillers but a distinctive achievement by the writer-director and his team that can easily be quoted as one of his best and ‘a piece of art’ with only one limitation to be honest, that also might not be any limitation for many. But before coming to that let me tell you what is really amazing in this not to be missed gem and what you should do before going for this new-age classic.
Firstly, as the film is all about just two nights and a day, it can easily be divided into two parts. And the first part (or the first night) simply blows your mind off with its fresh and novel content, without even starting the actual storyline and without even introducing its key character on screen. In fact it’s really amazing to see that even when the first 40 minutes (of a 135 minutes film) revolves around only one instance in particular, you still cannot move your eyes off screen engrossed in the fast-paced proceedings and still remain forced to keep watching the sequences forgetting everything else.
And then as soon as it introduces the mysterious key character, the hell of a ride begins building a new thrilling suspense and that too with only a few characters in the script without saying much to each other as verbal conversation. So even when they are not talking, you keep watching them without blinking the eyes expecting the unexpected, which is nothing short of a rare achievement of its kind by all means. Further with just a few slower moments in the middle, the presentation goes on to another level with the mystery revealed (in a worth praising long shot scene) leading to some outstanding action sequences in the climax. 
In other words, where the first night leaves you spellbound, the second night makes you speechless and emotional as well, with a moving revelation and a tragic ending. But this is not all as there are more pleasant surprises in the film enhancing its impact as well as the repeat value.
The biggest surprise element in the film is the master writer-director Mysskin playing the key role of the mysterious man or the wolf himself. Post some initial moments of introduction, he establishes a strong connect with the viewers and delivers a stunning performance, speaking through his eyes, especially in the action sequences. The young Sri compliments him well playing the lamb and they together excel on screen as The Wolf and The Lamb fighting with the man-like-animals around. 
Mostly shot on location featuring night shots, the film thankfully never becomes teasingly dark. In fact the nigh sequences are a treat to watch with praise-worthy shot taking technique and a brilliant edit. 
However the second pleasant surprise is something else and it’s the fabulous background score by none other than the maestro Ilaiyaraaja. A film without any song or any female lead, the BGM becomes the integral part of its narration as a classic exemplary score with a very wise use of silence in between. Reportedly the maestro composed the background music of a film without any song after two decades and that too charging the minimum remuneration for just the technicians involved.
Extremely rich in its metaphors used in the narration conveying a social truth of the world ruled by bunch of wolves ready to attack the lambs, ONAAYUM AATTUKKUTTIYUM is a dark film having a mood of its own that truly affects its viewers. The title gets clear towards the end as the secret unfolds and though I couldn’t read the text due to the language issue, the director continues his worthy experiment in the end credits too, associating every character with the name of an animal (as I was told), which was a thoughtful experiment indeed never seen before. 
Coming to the only flaw in the film, I did feel the supporting casting too raw at a few places (covered up by intelligent camerawork) which could have been better and a few scenes deliberately incorporated adding to the dark tone. 
But ignoring the above, this is sheer world class stuff from the writer-director Mysskin - at par with the World Cinema, strongly reminding you of Korean thrillers in specific. So if you miss this, then you will be missing one of the best chase thrillers of our Indian cinema that raises the bar much higher beyond your visualization.
However, this is also one of those films that should essentially be seen without reading or knowing anything about its exact theme or plot (which I have intentionally not revealed in this article too). Frankly I cannot even imagine how many write-ups on the net go on stating its exact story progression killing the suspense element for the readers so irresponsibly. So do watch it at the earliest as a favour done to yourself (without reading about its plot), meeting one of the most talented and brave writer-actor-director of our Indian Cinema at his best. 
Rating : Movies To See Before You Die

(Note :
The film can now be seen at Hotstar Online portal with English Subtitles without even paying a subscription.)
*Spoiler Ahead - Don’t read further before watching the film 

(Knowing the backdrop as a fable narrated by the The Wolf in the film, the first thought I had in mind was of Rajesh Khanna’s DUSHMAN based on the novel by Virendra Sharma. Interestingly the film was remade in various languages in South. May be that was the inspiration behind the actual thought process of the master director.)

Tags : ONAAYUM AATTUKKUTTIYUM (Tamil) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Director Mysskin and Ilaiyaraaja together in a classic gem, Indian Regional Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Must Watch Indian Regional Language Films List by Bobby Sing, Not To Be Missed Indian Regional Cinema, Must Watch Indian Movies List by Bobby Sing
18 Dec 2018 / Comment ( 2 )


Happy to  read your review.i always love to read your fine details in your reviews.thanks for adding it in Movies to see before you die.

Direcor myskin is a avid reader.He likes reading comics.
Onaayum aatukutiyum get inspired from this comics..


Road to Predition 2002  [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_to_Perdition]  film's  base idea also inspired from this manga.

Bobby Sing

Hi V. Madhurageetan,
Thanks a lot for writing in with the exact references inspiring the director.
This really helps in understanding his thought process better.
Keep visiting and writing in,

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