Mundasupatti stars the super-charming Vishnu as Gopi, a lackadaisical photographer with a snazzy pair of flip-up goggles and a derpy assistant (Kaali Venkat). Gopi gets an assignment to take a class photo at a girls high school and, of course, he falls in love with the one girl, Kalaivaani (Nandita), who refuses to join the picture. But when he returns to the school, the girl has disappeared! Her parents having taken her from school so she can get married. There's nothing Gopi can do but take the next assignment--this one from a villager who wants a photo of his village chief. His dead village chief. Why dead? The villager happens to be from a village where they believe having their photo clicked means they will die! It's only safe to take a photo after death. Gopi thinks it's weird but doesn't argue with the wad of rupees that is his advance. And when he arrives at the village… guess who is there. The girl from the high school!
The rest of the film follows Gopi and Kalaivaani's cute romance, the machinations of a kitten-eating villain (Anandraj), and the antics of eternally-aspiring actor Muniskanth (Ramdoss).
I'm not sure what else to say except that Mundasupatti was delightful. Vishnu inhabits the character of Gopi perfectly. Gopi is a bit vain, a bit lazy, but also very sweet. I loved his character so much. Just the way Gopi walked was amusing--wide stance, a bit of practiced swagger. His little courtship with Kalaivaani was adorable. He falls for her because she draws an unflattering caricature of him in her school notebook and because she refuses to get her photo taken. She's intriguing, unusual… and very pretty. And he wants her to be happy.
Kalaivaani was also a great character. I loved that she had a big personality and not a small dose of petulant teenager-ness to her. She sulks and pouts over the marriage she doesn't want. And gives Gopi a run for his money. My favorite Kalaivaani scene has her stealing Gopi's clothes and dressing up like him, pretending to click photos. I don't know why but I found it quite touching.
The rest of the cast was wonderful, too. With special props to Ramdoss as the long-suffering aspiring-to-be-filmi Munis-uncle. He was so over-the-top and hilarious, at one point re-enacting a film for a crowd of assembled villagers. (DON'T MISS THE FIRST TEN MINUTES! said the poster)
My understanding is that this was the debut for director Ram Kumar and I hope it leads to more projects! I was very taken with everything. I loved the world he created. I'm also a Vishnu fan now. I cannot emphasize enough how charming he was. I think there is another recent film of his on tentkotta.com. If it has subtitles, I will watch it soon!
Lastly, I want to mention Sean Roldan's soundtrack because it was REALLY GOOD. It was "rustic" but somehow also very modern. I especially loved the string section that kicked in whenever Gopi started having capital F Feelings towards Kalaivaani. Despite the lack of sync songs--which you know I prefer to montages--I was just so pleased to hear a soundtrack that was… a soundtrack. One whole theme. I think I can add Sean Roldan to my list of new-era composers to watch out for, which brings my list to two, including Anirudh Ravichander.
And Sean Roldan is a great guitarist! Check it out!