Kaaka Muttai – it’s a small film that’s winning hearts and making headlines. Thanks to the makers and distributors of the film, it has released with subtitles in Mumbai. Here’s a recco post of the same by @Navjot Gulati.
My favourite pizza topping is onion, capsicum, mushroom with extra cheese. For those people who are familiar with Delhi’s famous Nirula’s pizza, they would remember it as OCP. The pizza from Nirula’s remains my favourite but that’s only if it’s outside the home. The best pizza that i have ever eaten is the one which my mom used to make when we were kids. Me and my brother used to save up money for it by selling raddi (scrap). I’m talking about the days when making a pizza in the house was nothing less than an event, unlike today when its available everywhere, and at a cheap price. It was like you are eating something very important today. Back in the nineties, much before the Domino’s and Pizza Huts came to the country, Pizza was a luxury for every middle class household. The movie Kakka Muttai made me time travel to that era.
It’s the story of two brothers who make money by selling coal that drops from the trains which passes through their slum area, and with that money they support their family. The kids like to call themselves Big crow egg and Small crow egg. The film centers around the story of these two kids struggling and trying all means to buy a pizza. The fact that two kids are struggling to buy a pizza worth Rs 300 even in 2015, tells us that not much has changed. Acche Din maybe here but only for the privileged ones like us who are reading this on a fast internet connection in the comfort of our air-conditioned homes. There is an India outside our internet which we seem to have forgotten. And films like these connect you humanely with lives and emotions that we don’t even realise. A strange guilt, a bit of happiness and a dip of nostalgia.
The movie pretty much sums up the state of this country through the eyes of these two slum kids – wanting to eat pizza from a new fancy shop which has come up in place of their playground where they used to drink yolk from the crow’s egg. It makes you wonder what our kids deserve more – playground or pizza shops? Long live consumerism.
And the kids are considerate enough to leave one for the crow. Yeah. Check. As i look back, it feels i was also considerate as a kid. Maybe all kids are. Adulthood spoilt me. Now i’m even mean sometimes. But aren’t we all then. And i hate that. Anyway, coming back to the movie. Though it starts with the struggle of these two trying to get and eat a pizz but then it becomes much more. It becomes about our society and how each person here is trying to use the situation to their advantage – be it the politician, the middleman, or the women from the slums protesting against what happened to the kids. These situations might read cliched on paper but the way director M. Manikandan has handled the scenes and his actors, it make you overlook that. The best thing about the film is that it never goes overboard trying to exploit your emotions. Lets face it. Two-poverty-stricken-kids-wants-a-pizza has a lot of scope for that as we have seen in many movies in the past.
I generally used to associate Tamil cinema with loud scape and over dramatic tones, but with Kaaka Muttai my perspective has got a paradigm shift. Next time someone recommends me a Tamil film, i won’t make a face but instead make the effort to give it a fair chance. A special mention to my friend Niren Bhatt (co-writer of the Gujrati smash hit BeYaar and the upcoming All is Well) who insisted that i watch this movie at any cost. This post is nothing but me insisting all of you to give Kaaka Muttai a chance before it goes out of the cinemas.
Please go see this film. And this film recco comes from someone who is not a great fan of manipulative poverty porn. This one is not. It is much more. It is in-fact the Salaam Bombay of this generation. Don’t miss this gem. Go see it.
(ps – If you watched and liked the movie, then do tell me which is your favourite scene. Mine is the one in which our Kaaka Muttais meet two rich kids outside City Centre)