The film has a terrific first half with a basic thread, comedy, action, eye catching song picturisation, stunning visuals and grandeur. The film combines ultra-violent action with murky mysticism. The Government appoints a secret team led by archaeologist Anitha Pandian (Reemma) and a military officer Ravi (Azhagamperumal) to track down the missing links after a scientist and archaeologist (Pratap Pothen) vanishes into thin air while he was on his mission to discover the lost Chola civilization!
To help them reach the lost city, Lavanya, daughter of the missing archaeologist is roped in for the mission. And helping the group to carry their belongings through the rough and tough jungle terrain and sea is the Coolie gang led by Muthu (Karthi), a boorish, uncouth, foul mouthed guy with roving eyes. They go through some of the most inhospitable terrain full of hidden danger and nature’s fury.
Suddenly after a tedious expedition, they stumble on the lost Chola civilization and its king (Parthipan) and find unexplained links between them and the world’s earliest culture. What follows is a series of happenings that will leave you glued to the screen.
The subtle message that Selva tries to convey is that a group of people cut away from civilisation, struck with poverty and knowledge is far superior to the present generation who lack values, culture or basic human kindness. All this leads to some unexpected twists and turns in the climax till you find that history repeats once again as Muthu rescues and run away with the King’s son to the darkness, like what happened centuries back!
Aayirathil Oruvan starts with a bang, but it doesn’t unfold quickly. The second half takes a u-turn and is riddled with holes in the plot line and is confusing and tedious. It looks like another film and there are long gaps of silence in the climax which will make an ordinary viewer restless.
Directing an interweaving screenplay, Selva’s narrative structure bursts with sporadic agility along with top class camera work by Ramji.
GV Prakash’s background score and his music is tangy. Un Mela Aasadhan.. sung by Dhanush, Aishwarya Dhanush and Andrea and picturised on the lead trio is a rocker. The remixed old MGR song on Karthi and the coolies is a treat.
Reemma brings an uninhibited joie to her role as Anitha and thanks to the ability of the director has extracted a fine performance from her. Andrea is likeable and seems to have enjoyed doing the film. Parthipan is adequate as the king. But it is Karthi, who is a scream. Right from his introduction scene till the end, he is lovable and provides humour. Actually Karthi with his punchlines is getting the loudest claps as the crazy MGR fan and has made a sensational comeback three years after his debut film.
The film has to be seen in the right perspective. Selvaraghavan is trying to explore the frontiers of commercial cinema. For this alone he should be applauded.