Critic's Rating: 17/5
Saturday 21 December 2013
Jiiva, Santhanam,Trisha Krishnan
Don't sign off on your list of the Best Films of 2013 till you watch Endrendrum Punnagai, a feel good film which will make you smile even after you walk out of the hall. It's a feel ? good breezy entertainer and it's got its heart in the right place.
The film works big time due to director Ahmed?s well- written script which encompass friendship, romance and an emotional father-son angle which has been handled sensitively. And the overall packaging of exotic locations, shot compositions, chemistry between lead actors and great music by Harris Jayaraj, makes it connect with the urban youth.
The film's first half breezes by effortlessly as we are sucked into the life of three close, free-spirited friends from school- Gautham (Jiiva), Sree (Vinay Rai) and Baby (Santhanam) who run an ad agency. Among them Gautham is the son of a painter (Nassar) who has a not-so-good childhood and hence he hates women and also thrusts the same on his two friends. The three friends make a pact that they will remain bachelors forever. But two of them are unable to stick to the promise and friendship sours.
The film works to a large extent because of the inherent optimism in the plot and the sheer good-naturedness of its characters. First and foremost Jiiva-Santhanam-Vinay friendship and bonding looks real and there is perfect on-screen vibe between the trio.
The love track of Jiiva and Trisha their initial reluctance followed by fleeting eye contacts slowly heats up, you can feel the love temperature rising. The heroines Trisha and Andrea are not mere eye candy their characters has been well etched. The father (Nassar)-son (Jiiva) emotional mine field has been shown without any melodrama.
Of the cast, Trisha fits her role to the tee, reflecting just that slight hint of cold detachment that the part requires from her. Nassar nails it with a performance that carefully treads the fine line between a man craving for his son's love and naughty senior. Jiiva turns in an inspired performance as a man who's covered with issues from head to toe. He conveys his inner turmoil by losing his cool one time too many, but in the process he creates a character you can instantly empathise with.
Santhanam with his spot-on comedy, measured histrionics and his immense likeability is a revelation and he provides some hearty laughs. What a relief not to see him as a love guru and sidekick of the hero. For Vinay Rai it is easily his best performance till date and is the film's surprise packet. Andrea makes her presence felt despite the small role.
Harris Jayaraj?s peppy music has been integrated into the story, and it is his best work in recent times. The songs have been beautifully picturised and BGM is in sync with the films rom-com mood. The rich look of the film is mainly due to camerawork of Madhi and his lighting is top class. Praveen-Srikanth editing is seamless as one scene melds to another effortlessly.
It's evident that the film's main motive is to give you a good time, but it's commendable that writer-director I Ahmed chose to weave a message into the story. Watch it because it's the season to be jolly, and good laughs are guaranteed.