|Vinay, Lekha Washington, Bhavana, Vivek, Krishna|
The most refreshing thing about Kannan's film is that he tries to combine mainstream Tamil film aesthetics with mass appeal. There is a basic story laced with sentiments, friendship, love, comedy, action, deep Annan- Thangachi Pasam evolving out of hate, a nice message in the climax against rowdyism, plus pleasant music score. And fine all round performance by the likeable actors in the film- Vinay, Lekha, Bhavana, Krishna, Vivek, Santhanam, Kishore, and Athisaya.
The story is etched from many films including Mani Ratnam’s classy entertainer of the 80's Agninakstharam. In the original it was a fight between the son and illegitimate son of a top politician in the first half, who gang up to fight the villain. Here it is a son and illegitimate daughter who are daggers drawn over father's property, who in the climax join together to demolish the bad guy.
Arjun (Vinay) is an IT professional who was in London for years, and has now come down to Chennai to set up his own business. He has a wide friends circle like Krishna (Krishna), Gopal (Vivek) and their wives, who make merry. Arjun's philosophy in life is to be always cool and never lose one's temper under any circumstances. He feels if one has to reach his goal in life it is better to win over your enemies and take them along.
However Arjun is shocked when he finds that his late father had another family, and his half sister Brinda (Lekha Washington) is now trying to sell his family house in Madurai. She needs the money to go to US, as she has got a scholarship at MIT! They lock horns over the property and land up in Madurai, where a red chilly dealer (Nizhalgal Ravi) is staying in their house with his daughter Annapoorni (Bhavana). Arjun pretends that Poorni is his childhood sweetheart, wins her over and manages to get her vacated from the premise.
There is a rowdy Guna (Kishore) who is a terror in Madurai and our hero gets entangled with him that leads to an accident in which his wife Poonkodi (Athisaya) gets killed. Now Guna is baying for revenge as he follows Arjun to Chennai. The rest of the film is how Arjun tries to take the responsibilities as a big brother and wins over Brinda and deals with Guna, who is determined to kill him.
The second half of the film reminds you of many films in the past like Run, Sandakozhi and the Malayalam classic Kireedom. However the film works because of its simple straightforward narration and packaging. Lekha Washington for a first timer sparkles as the half sister in a well etched role. She is the surprise packet and has the credentials to make it big. Vinay with a moustache looks too thin and fragile but adds to the film’s energy but should try to dub in his own voice.
Bhavana has nothing much to do other than looking prim and proper. Krishna and Santhanam are far better than Vivek who at times you feel speaks more dialogues than necessary. Athisaya as the small town girl who gets enamored by the rowdy is a revelation, while Kishore fits the bill as the bad guy.
Vidayasagar’s music is so-so, there is a feeling that you have heard these tunes before. The picturisation is nowhere near the high standards set up by the director’s guru. In fact the foreign locale song set against a historic monument in Uzbekistan looks like a cardboard set. On the downside too many songs are inserted into the narration, and at times the film lags, particularly after interval.
Verdict: Breezy Entertainer