Ezhil’s Desingu Raja is targeted for what trade calls the “B & C” audiences. It is a crass comedy which is slapstick and loud in nature. At the same time if you like gags and slipping- on- banana peel, type comedies, it may be a fun ride.
The director is known for his rural comedies and his films operate on the belief that having funny people on screen is enough to get laughs. So you have Vimal playing the comic hero plus a busload of comedians like Parotta Soori, Singam Puli, Chaams, Singamuthu and even bad man Ravi Maria who brings the house down in the climax with his buffoonery.
The story is as old as the hills. Two warring villages have a history of enmity with their chieftains being at loggerheads for generations. So we have the new generation tearing at each other’s throats too. Idhayakani (Vimal) grandson of one of the big chief’s falls in love with rival village leader’s daughter Thamarai (Bindu Madhavi). A comic war erupts, as the lovers try to bring the feuding families together.
To a certain extent the director has reworked the 80’s and 90’s formula village comedies - love at first sight, slapstick comedy, music, action, rural superstitions, Thali sentiments, festivals and corny dialogues. D Imman’s music works to a certain extent.
Vimal is at home playing the rural hero with a comedy touch, while Bindu Madhavi looks pretty but her comic timing needs more honing. The comedy brigade raises a few laughs especially Soori who does exactly what Vadivelu used to do in village films as heroine’s Murai Maman and his liberal “misuse” of English words.
Desingu Raja moves fast and has a running time of only 2 hours and 13 minutes. On the whole, it tries hard to tickle your funny bone as it teeters precariously between the sparkling and the downright silly.
Verdict – Slapstick Comedy