“Mookuthi Amman” is a delightful rollercoaster ride that brings together superb performances by Nayanthara and Urvashi in a dramedy that adds a modern twist to the traditional Amman subgenre of the ’90s. The movie kicks off with a unique take on the usual battle of Good versus Evil, introducing Amman in a way that breaks away from the conventional norms.
Nayanthara’s portrayal of Amman takes a softer approach compared to the dramatic entries of the past. Instead of the usual howling winds and tolling bells, Amman’s introduction involves a fun challenge presented by Engels Ramaswamy, played by RJ Balaji. Engels tests Amman’s divine powers by asking her to guess an iconic song, ‘Ennakum Unnakum Thaan Porutham,’ adding a touch of humor to the divine narrative.
As the story unfolds, we find ourselves in the midst of a family saga reminiscent of ’80s Rajinikanth movies. The family, led by the fantastic Urvashi as the aging mother, consists of Engels, a television reporter, and a cast of characters with ordinary desires. The film beautifully portrays the simple wishes of each family member, from a sister yearning for a day off to a brother wanting his sisters to get married.
The heart of the movie lies in the family’s faith and their buried sorrows. The audience is subtly prepared for the arrival of the goddess, Mookuthi Amman, to save the family from their struggles. However, the central conflict takes a while to unravel, with the movie clocking in at around 40 minutes before hitting this point. This extended build-up results in a somewhat tangled narrative with scenes strung together without perfect coherence.
Despite occasional narrative hiccups, the film finds its anchor in the stellar performances of Nayanthara and Urvashi. Nayanthara brings regal presence and authenticity to her role as Amman, while Urvashi’s portrayal as the mother adds a layer of entertainment to the film. The comedic timing, especially the Baashsha gag and the demand for an audience by Mookuthi Amman, ensures that the humor lands exceptionally well.
The film’s biggest strength lies in its ability to draw humor from instinct, a characteristic shared by Balaji and CS Amudhan. However, the attempt to weave a larger statement on the politics of religion and the role of middlemen somewhat dilutes the film’s potential. The clash between God (Nayanthara) and a Rami Reddy-like godman named Bhagavathi Baba adds a layer of social commentary, akin to the approach seen in movies like “LKG.”
“Mookuthi Amman” would have perhaps fared better if it had focused more on the personal story, a strength observed in many Amman films. The film’s exploration of too many social issues, including the PK-styled climax stretch, feels like a stretch, and the results, at times, feel middling.
In conclusion, “Mookuthi Amman” offers a unique blend of drama, comedy, and social commentary, with standout performances and moments of genuine laughter. While the film may not be flawless in its narrative coherence, it succeeds in delivering an entertaining and engaging cinematic experience. Catch the divine laughter and drama streaming on Disney+Hotstar and join in the conversation with #MookuthiAmman.