Film: "Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara"; Director: Gokul; Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Ashwin Kakumanu, Swathi Reddy, Nandita, M.S Bhaskar, Livingston, Soori and Pasupathy; Rating: ***1/2
Not all comedies are made with a purpose to entertain and educate viewers. It's a rarity in Tamil cinema to expect a film to even remotely try anything beyond merely entertaining its audiences, let alone inspire them. Surprisingly, "Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara" (IAB) doesn't merely entertain, but also addresses a domestic issue with a very strong dose of humour.
IAB condemns drinking habit and in the process delivers a subtle message about the issue.
The film revolves around five characters that on a certain day cross paths due to an incident in a local liquor joint. These characters don't know each other, but are connected in some way.
It's undoubtedly one of the smartest yet funniest Tamil films in recent times. Neither does it take itself seriously nor does it expect the same from you, but it still gives you the opportunity to embrace the message it delivers without being preachy.
It's a fun galore from start to finish, with humour born out of situations in the narrative, but never forced down the audience's throat. It's not easy to write a comedy that doesn't end up being a joke on the makers. But, IAB scores an ace in that department.
One look at the characters and you will start laughing till your jaw drops.
Sumar Moonji Kumar, an obsessed lover who spends most of his time pursuing his neighbor Kumudha, who hates everything about him, especially his drinking problem; Bala, a salesman at a private bank who gets sandwiched between a highly suspicious girlfriend (Renu) and a demanding boss; Annachi, a local big shot, owner of the liquor joint, who is diabetic; two goons who set out to kill a local don, whose wife they pursue together.
IAB redefines craziness with its characters that never stop entertaining us. Most of the humour comes from the most unexpected characters such as the one that helps Kumar and his sidekick find liquor in the middle of the night in the most unexpected place.
There are several such instances that pave way for humour. Gokul deserves a special mention for giving importance to each and every character even in the smallest role.
Vijay Sethupathi has become a darling of the masses. Scene after scene, the audience hoots and cheers for him in unison. But it would be unfair to let him take away all credit as the rest of the cast and crew did a wonderful job.
Even though the film is lead by Vijay and Bala as lead actors, it wouldn't have been a wholesome entertainer had it not been for other actors like Pasupathy, Soori and others.
What a comeback this is for Pasupathy, who makes you laugh with every dialogue. Scenes featuring him and Vijay are some of the best moments in the movie.
Ashwin as Bala is equally good and he also shares some of the best scenes with M.S. Bhaskar and Swathi.
Gokul deserves the tiger's share, because not only he entertains, but manages to leave an impact with his sensible message.
IAB will provide the best fun you can have at cinemas, so go for it.