Vijay Sethupathi essays the titular role of Karuppan in the flick directed by R Panneerselvam. Set in a rural backdrop, Karuppan is an unemployed young man who literally is good at taking the bull by the horns. He loves taking part in the village Jallikattu and always snags the winner’s medal. At one such event, the organiser ends up announcing that he can marry his sister Anbu (Tanya). Tanya’s uncle Kathir (Bobby Simha) however despises this as he has his eyes set on her. It is when Karuppan marries Anbu that trouble starts brewing between the two families. What does Kathir do to create problems? Does Anbu end up being happily married with Karuppan?
We see Vijay Sethupathi in a village-based story after a long time in Karuppan. While the use of Jallikattu in the film is topical, the film itself takes us back to the films of the 80s. The story is very simple – it’s about love and revenge and winning back the girl so there’s nothing new really for the audience. Panneerselvam’s flick is riddled with cliches right from Kathir’s scheming ways to how Karuppan showers his wife with love and attention.
For Vijay Sethupathi, the role of Karuppan would have been a cakewalk as it doesn’t have too many shades to it nor difficult to portray. Bobby Simha as Kathir was a good choice but the role in fact could have been played by anyone. Kathir is very one-dimensional and has not been really well etched out given that Bobby Simha was roped in. While Tanya is adequate as Anbu, an actress who is more expressive could have made a more profound impact. Singam Puli makes a mark in the film with his comedy and he is definitely a good foil to Karuppan.
The director has tried to give the audience a lot of sentiment, some action and romance in this film. Even the songs are quite passé and don’t add too much life to the film. Having said that, Karuppan seems to be aimed at the audience B and C centres and could do well in the smaller towns. For those who have come to expect so much more from a Vijay Sethupathi film, it is a tad disappointing. Karuppan is just old wine in an old bottle better left uncorked.