Vidaathu Karuppu Review - The Apocalyptic Horse Rider
I recently came to know that Kavithalayaa productions has uploaded all episodes of this mesmerizing Tamil TV show on YouTube. I only have fragmented memories of this Sun TV serial from the 90's, but i did remember the climax. So i was bit skeptical to re-watch, so tried a couple of episodes to see if it connects and boom i was addicted. This was a cult making and a riveting watch which is so much relevant today also. A fresh concept, the deeply rooted religious beliefs and maintaining the thrilling theme through out was not a small feat to achieve way back then. Most of them were bonkers for me at that time and i had to say this series was way ahead of its time. The mystery is just as riveting as I remember it. Its superbly aged and i wish they had included the subtitles so that it reaches a wider audience.
Director Naga did a rock solid adaptation of writer Indra Soundar Rajan book where they mixed the concept of Kalki, final avatar of Lord Vishnu and Kaliyug settings. The mysterious story revolves around the village deity Karuppu Saami, along with the odd and strange events unfolding in the village of Thottakaramangalam. Each 20 minutes episode is roughly split into 2 halves, where the first half shot in B&W focuses on past story telling through the eyes of a young kid named Raasu. The second half is present where a few set of people trying to untangle the mystery surrounding the village. The BGM and title card will haunt you for days.
With rock solid characters, a fast paced script and with sharp dialogues this one nailed most of them to perfection. Its not an one sided story of believe and superstitions alone, there are people who questions the villagers in a very rational way and purse relentlessly to bring out the truth. The progressive nature of some of the characters and how they challenge is well thought out. The character Pechi Kezhavi is an epitome of evil and its one heck of matriarchy being showcased in TV show. She at the same time created smart riddles to make the hunt of Pon Paanai story very interesting which is one among the many sub plots in the series. The last 10 episodes brilliantly connects all pieces together and what a terrific ending it has. Its Manichitrathazhu on steroids. The twist and turns will hit you hard.
The series is not without flaws. Some of the revelations in the subplots was hard to believe, there were few repetitive segments and as usual the 90's over drama were some minor quibbles i can think off. In the end the below subtext is constructed and executed to perfection and this one will remain as a cult classic for ages. Kali Purushan Ondralla, Kaalam Palavagum, Dharmam Nilakkum and Avatharangal Thodarkindrna.
Verdict - 4/5(The incarnation of a different kind)