Monday 17 December 2007
The story is set in a village near Ramanathapuram, sometime in the early 1980's. Samy's hero is Ayyanar (Aadhi) a beefy big built villager who due to circumstances is more of an animal in his behavior, very crude and has no human emotions in him. The guy makes a living by taking his stud bull around the village for breeding with female cows. This makes him more of an animal, who is always on heat and he fornicates with village housewives and prostitutes. During one of his visits to the local brothel, he has sex with the queen whore Savithri, but refuses to pay for it incurring her curse.
Ayyanar treats other villagers with no human feelings and is basically a loner and a lothario who womanizes, plays cards and is a drunkard. One day he meets Alagamma (Padmapriya) a tomboyish fierce vixen whom the villagers have nicknamed "pump set" (later in the film we are told that as a young girl she reached maturity near a village pump set!) and marries her to have sex! In the first night itself he brutally rapes her, and continues with his sexual exploits. Alagamma swears that she will tame him and make him a human; and she succeeds to a certain extent.
However, one day Ayyanar is hauled by the cops after a drunken fight and is sent to one year imprisonment. In jail he gets the taste of ganja and also has homo-sexual relationship and after coming out of the jail in a trance has sex with a beggar woman on the streets! The same time he wants to kill his pregnant wife whom he believes had an illegal relationship with her uncle! Soon he is hit by a mysterious virus according to doctors in Madurai and later becomes the first man with AIDS in Tamilnadu! The villagers ostracize him but his loyal and devoted wife stands with him till the end.
Mirugam after showing a lot of scenes full of crude debauchery and sadism in the first half masquerades as a message movie in the second half. The Ayyanar character is so unsympathetic that it often makes viewing difficult. Samy has created his Ayyanar out of a similar character done by Mohanlal in the Malayalam film Padamudra in the early 90's, and mixed it with Karthi's characterization in Paruthiveeran. In fact Ameer would be shocked that Samy has not only shot the film in the same milieu, but has also lifted the earthy folk song sequence from it! And the climax where Alagamma pleads with village elders to help her cremate her husband and after they refuse, she lifts the dead body and takes it for cremation is etched from a Spanish film!
Technically the film is good with Thotta Tharani's village sets, and natural lights used by the cinematographer. Padmapriya deserves the slap from her director for doing such a crass and crude film. The film fails to strike a chord because the concern of the director to highlight the plight of an Aids patient in the post interval scenes is facetious. Throughout the film the director becomes more of a voyeur and dialogues loaded with sexual overtones. And surely Samy knows the difference between exploitation and cause-orientation.