Mookuthi Amman premiered on 14th November 2020 on Disney+ Hotstar. Directed by RJ Balaji and N. J.Saravanan, the Tamil language film is written by R.J Balaji and stars RJ Balaji, Nayanthara, Urvashi, Moulee, and Ajay Ghosh alongside other cast members.
God Is A Lady
Mookuthi Amman revolves around the life of Engels Ramasamy (RJ Balaji), a reporter who is doing not-so-well financially and whose father abandoned their family consisting of his mother, grandfather, and 4 sisters at a very young age. Engels’s mother believes that if their family would go to Tirupathi things will be fine but they fail in executing their trip idea 4 times. It is here that they come to know that their family deity Mookuthi Amman is angry with them as she is left un-worshipped. Thereafter, the family decides to visit her temple and worship her and it is here that Engles starts seeing Goddess Mookuthi who orders him to do things, and with some evil guys the story continues!
When I started watching Mookuthi Amman it took me back to my childhood days when South Indian movies used to play on TV 24×7 and the stories would revolve around Goddesses coming to earth to help one of their damsels-in-distress devotees. The 1900s were flooded with movies of moral high holding between God and humans.
Mookuthi Amman will remind you of all devotional films you have seen but yet it is different from everything you have seen. While the entire idea of the 1900s devotional films was to hold on to the fear and strength associated with God, religion, and bad men, Mookuthi Amman is the opposite. Often times we have heard in contemporary cinema that ‘God is a woman’ and Mookuthi Amman being the female goddess aims to bring awareness about faith and belief. The film also poses a sharp commentary on the idea of worship being based on just miracle and fear, not belief.
The film also tries to dodge the line of stereotypes by talking about the position of women in society and how they are treated widely – getting blamed and subjected to work 24×7 without any recognition. The film will remind you of PK and Oh My God! and shares noticeable similarities with both. There are some similar dialogues in the film too (with small changes, of course!). Our star and a staunch believer in God here is Engles, an educated and rational man who grows up in a religious family but despises Godmen who claim to be the speaker of Gods.
Mookuthi Amman, Engles’s family deity, says something that makes you ponder – “You’re in my temple but you’re asking for me to send you to God Tirupathi’s temple. Am I not a Goddess if he’s a god?” While this dialogue looks small and skippable, it speaks volumes in itself. Other than this, Amman puts a lot of things into perspective like the exploitation of belief and spirituality and discrimination in the name of religion by big business tycoons since it is the easiest way to exploit people.
With a storyline that is engaging and steering away from stereotyping God and religion, the film features a cast that’ll keep you hooked throughout. Urvashi as Paalthangam, Engles’s mother, is flawless; RJ Balaji as Engles is the driving force of the film and the humanitarian mindset which is often conflicted due to its beliefs and cause-and-effect; Nayanthara as Mookuthi Amman is the religious front and female strength of the film which fails to be not-interesting. Everyone in the film is the perfect fit.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Mookuthi Amman is a stream-worthy film not just because it hits nostalgia of the old devotional films but also because the film is engaging and discusses a lot of societal problems. As the title says, there is no dull moment in this Tamil film, and it’s one good journey.
FUN FACT: There is one scene where Aigiri Nandini plays and it was one of the highest points of the film for me!
Mookuthi Amman is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
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