Halitha Shameem’s Aelay on Vijay TV and Netflix, with Samuthirakani and Manikandan: A low-key charmer saddled with a shrill second half

Posted on February 26, 2021




Is it possible to make a movie that feels like ‘Poovarasam Peepee’ crossed with a Pandiraj rural drama? The question is interesting but the result is uneven.

Spoilers ahead…

In a film culture that has traditionally glorified the “amma sentiment”, it’s nice to hear the occasional nod to the other parent. Halitha Shameem’s Aelay is an “appa sentiment” story, even if what we sense – at first, from Parthi (Manikandan) – is an utter lack of sentiment for his appa. The old man, Muthukutti (Samuthirakani), has died. The Chennai-based Parthi heads back to his village for the last rites, in a bus where a loud movie played all night and a passenger snored all night. Upon reaching his destination, Parthi seems more upset about his lack of sleep than his father having passed on. And we seem to be set for an angsty drama about parents and resentful children, about a man who sold “kuchi ice” for a living and made the neighbourhood kids happy but could not transfer some of that happiness to his own kids.

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