Right away you are drawn into the life of Sreedhar Vasudevan (Madhavan), an upright bank officer who goes by the rule book. He is a man of principles who lives with his wife and two kids in Nanganallur, a suburb on the outskirts of Chennai and travels by train to his workplace. Vasudevanís life is a mundane, cycle of routine events for many years and he has to struggle each minute of his day to survive.
He works hard in the bank where he strictly adheres to the rule book creating new enemies. Vasu has a nagging wife Vatsala (Sangeeta), who is unhappy about every little thing and his attitude towards life. He disagrees with the idea of waiting in the line for tanker water as he has been paying the water supply bills to the government. He worries about the future of his son Varun and his education. He cares for his daughter Varsha who is about to join school, and at the interview, the Principal finds her to be brilliant but Vasu is not ready to pay the Rs 35,000 they demand as donation as it is against his principles.
Vasu doesnít believe in the hook or crook theory in his personal and official life and protests, but nobody is there to listen to him. He lives his life in a straight manner and expects the world to live the same way which results in disappointment and anger. Everybody around him seems to have accepted the system the way it is and Vasudevan is helpless and the volcano finally erupts as he decides to solve all the problems on his own terms, which leads to a riveting climax.
Nishikanth hammers home the reluctance of the middle class to take up issues haunting us in our day to day existence. Are we as a nation a set of cowards, who canít rectify the minor insults, and bullying we face at home and work place? Why is it that nobody dares to bell the cat? All these issues are brilliantly brought out in the film which is a brave testimony of the middle class meekness which allows others to break the law and stomp all over us, and yet we donít react!
Full marks to dialogue writer Madhavan, for his heartfelt dialogues, which is smashingly original. The wonderful economy of expression and deliberate silence imbue the film with a poetic resonance. Cinematographer Sanjayís camera and close-upís of the main characters gives the film its mood, anguish and a searing intensity, and editor Amit Pawar has made it crisp at 2 hours.
Ultimately, it is the one-man show of Madhavan that towers over everything else. He unarguably gives his careerís finest performance. Shorn of any artifice or nervous energy and the chocolate boy image, you can feel his anguish, the earnestness of his intentions and the wetness of his tears. His poignant dialogue as he moves closer to the window seat in the train in the climax is heartbreaking.
As a woman torn between her dualities as a nagging housewife and the tragic quality of her role, Sangeetha comes out with a knock-out performance. Seeman as the cop with a conscience is apt, and has improved on his dialogue delivery. Even people who come for a scene like Phelwan Ranganathan, the boy artist on the street, the old lady at the hospital are all very good.
Evano Oruvan may be a bit slow but it must be watched by anyone who cares for cinema of sense and substance.
Verdict: Very Good