The Crow’s Egg (Kakka Muttai) – a film review by Roz Tarszisz

November 19, 2015 by Roz Tarszisz
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Watching this film from writer and director M. Manikandan, it occurred to me that while the story is particular to India, it also demonstrates many points of similarity to the world we live in.  

Greed and corruption are universal; it’s just the way things are done that’s a bit different.

Big Crows Egg (Ramesh) and Little Crows Egg (J. Vignesh) are young brothers, living with their mother (Iyshwarya Rajesh)  and grandmother (Ramesh Thilak)  in a Chennai slum.  Their father is in jail – we don’t know why – and they scramble about trying to earn a few coins to help them all survive.

When a pizza parlour opens nearby they are completely fascinated and become fixated on raising enough cash to buy their own pizza.

What follows is a simple tale, well told and executed. It is obvious it’s filmed on location. something which makes it all the more real. When the empty lot where the local kids play is sold, they lose more than a scrubby, stony yard. It’s all down to progress.

The boys are delightful, their mother is loving but distracted by her efforts to get her husband out of jail. Even their toothless granny gets into the spirit and makes them a dosa “pizza” . Although she does a great job copying the flyer photo, it doesn’t smell anything like the real thing.  Well it wouldn’t would it?  There’s no cheese and the boys complain  “there’s no stringy bits”.

After an incident with the boys and the pizza parlour’s security guard, venal businessmen and corrupt politicians get involved.  Like I said, just like home.  The boys may have a ramshackle roof over their heads but their mother and grandmother love them.  It’s charming because the lads are so believable.

 As to the origin of their nicknames, they have worked out how to distract and entice crows out of the tree in their playground so Big Crow can climb up the tree to remove the crows’ eggs.  Then they  eat the eggs raw. Simple, but effective.

For a short time we enter another world and while the resolution is satisfying, it’s not saccharine.

Out November 19   Rated PG  99mins

3.5/5

Starring Ramesh, J. Vignesh, Iyshwarya Rajesh

Director/Writer/ Cinematographer: M. Manikandan

 

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