|Appukutty, Saranya Mohan|
The story is set in 1982, a village called Mallaipuram near Theni. Those days, the local village temple festival were a major event, and the plot is set against this background with lots of human emotions. The villagers believe that the “Rain God” will bless them only if they conduct Thiruvizha to Lord Azhagar, during which the deity is taken around the village on a wooden horse. As everything is set for the annual festival, they are in for a rude shock when the wooden horse goes missing.
But to their surprise, a real horse comes to the village, after which many good things happen. The naive, innocent villagers believe that the wooden horse has come to life. But soon, Azhagarsami (Appukutty) a young man from neighbouring village claiming that it is his missing horse that has surfaced. His livelihood and marriage to the beautiful Rani (Saranya Mohan) depends on the horse. But the villagers refuse to part with their lucky charm- the horse!
The real heroes of the film are its story and screenplay writer Bhaskar Sakthi, music director Ilayaraja and Suseenthiran. It is a combination of all the three which work for the film along with all new village characters. The director has a different take of his famous Venila Kabadi Kuzhu Parotta scene with a small boy here, which is a scream. All characters like Appukutty and Saranya Mohan look and behave life like which is the major plus of the film. The film has beautifully etched the village green with great camerawork by Theni Easwar.
However, the film isn't without hiccups. Overly long, especially in its first half, ASK suffers on account of sluggish pacing, especially a lot of scenes to establish the milieu. Remarkable casting has resulted in some fine performances by key players. The guy who plays president, the carpenter, the policeman in mufti- all pitch in with commendable performances.
On the whole, it is a very sweet and simple film about the importance of basic goodness. It requires patience to appreciate it fully, but deserves a viewing because films like this are hard and few to find in these days of mass masala .