Every comedian has his time. This is Soori’s time. He was the best thing about last week’s Idhu Namma Aalu. He’s one of the best things about Ezhil’s Velainnu Vandhutta Vellakaran, a film best described by a quote the director gave The Hindu: “I have high BP. So I prefer to make and watch only movies that keep my BP low. It’s not like the audiences today want to watch serious movies anyway.” Soori’s comedy track is a guaranteed BP-reducer. He plays a man who pretend-marries a woman (long story!), and then finds out that she’s a dancer with a history that covers practically every red-blooded male in the five southern states. (A poster refers to her as “thennindhiya Shakira.”)This is one of those jokes that keep on giving. It’s a pity that our filmmakers settle, so easily, for less. This running gag keeps sputtering to a stop. But at least we get a few uproarious lines. When you’re in a certain kind of mood, that’s enough.
Also, Robo Shankar picks up the slack. He plays an MLA named ‘Jacket’ Janakiraman (he was a tailor once), and he gets what’s easily the most show-stopping, laugh-till-you-cry – and yes, BP-reducing – comedy stretch of the year. It’s derived from the premise of Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom – he tells a story over and over, from the beginning. (Ravi Mariya’s reaction shots in these scenes are priceless.) Again, with such comic gold, why not mine for more? Is it inability? Laziness? The script for a comedy is still a script. You may think up some good gags, but you still have to figure out what to do around those gags.
And so we get a plot about the search for an ill-gotten Rs. 500 crore. This should have been enough, especially with Rajendran’s bit as the leader of a ghost cult – but then, you cannot accommodate a hero (Vishnu Vishal), a heroine (Nikki Galrani), the song where he stalks her despite her disinterest… In our cinema, romance is the death of comedy. The film comes to a complete halt every time it turns to this couple. This is Vishnu Vishal’s attempt at going “mass” – he delivers a winking “I am waiting” at interval point. But it’s composer C Sathya who achieves a breakthrough. He spices up a routine love duet with a brass band. Unlike the typical song where the beat stays (mostly) the same around varying melodic lines, we get a techno-gaana with a fixed melodic unit backed by beats that keep changing. We even get jazz tones in the background score. The title really applies to him.
- Velainnu Vanthutta Vellakaran= a total pro
- Idhu Namma Aalu = see here
- thennindhiya = South Indian
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