When someone abuses Rocket’s (G.V. Prakash) mother, he laughs it off. But the minute his “area” gets ridiculed, he’s up in arms. Kuppathu Raja firmly establishes what matters most in the script – and to Rocket, its protagonist. It’s the “area”, the locality they live in… and in this case, it’s the noisy environs of North Madras.
Rocket does what Vikram did in last year’s Sketch – he seizes vehicles from people who cannot pay back their dues. Everybody in the area borrows from, who else, but a ‘Seth’, who is as cliched as they come. Rocket works for him on the very few occasions when he’s not out drinking, joking around with friends, or indulging in needless brawls in the name of showing off.
- Director: Baba Bhaskar
- Cast: GV Prakash, Parthiban, Poonam Bajwa
- Storyline: The lives of a few slum-dwellers change after a situation arises
There’s also MGR aka Raju (Parthiban), a major “thalakattu” who thinks of himself as the leader of the area. Kuppathu Raja at first positions itself as a war between Rocket and Raju, but we soon realise that the filmmaker (Baba Bhaskar) is interested in other things. Like introducing Poonam Bajwa (her name is Mary, and someone calls her “biscuit” and we’re supposed to laugh) and dishing out a crude track between her and Rocket that goes nowhere. This is happening even as Rocket has fallen in love with someone else (Palak Lalwani, who, despite her loudness, somehow fits in the milieu).
Nothing pretty much happens in Kuppathu Raja till an unexpected death happens, and the film suddenly starts taking itself too seriously. But even after something supposedly shocking happens, the script saunters about without much purpose. A twist arrives in the end, but we’re too tired to even notice.
The songs act as giant speedbreakers, and the fights are mostly out of place as well. G.V. Prakash has worked on his slang and dance moves for Kuppathu Raja, but there is not much beyond that for him. M.S. Bhaskar also has little to do than act inebriated all the time.
Kuppathu Raja also does little to set right Tamil cinema’s misguided portrayal of North Madras, and continues portraying the neighbourhood as one where everyone is perennially drunk or getting into scuffles. With a lead character named Rocket, the aim must have been for the skies. But the film is far off target.