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SPECIAL APPEARENCE: Watch out for the song before the climax...if you are smart enough, you can recognise the director Gowtham seated behind Sarath Kumar (the hero),in the bus they are travelling in. See more »
Average at best, but with a standout performance from Sarath
Choosing to remake a known book/film which was panned in Hollywood (With reported box office earnings of $35,945,749) is tough. Making it work in Tamil is even tougher. The theme is mature and unconventional as far the average Tamil audience would like to see on screen. And a tad bit uncomfortable for the average macho or 'happily married' audience. Credit must be given to Gautham to have thought that he could pull it off. But he doesn't.
a. The average Sarath Kumar fan is disappointed - he is not larger-than-life in most part. There is no vintage 'Super-Hero' Sarath Kumar present in the movie. Gautham tries to salvage this with some extended fight scenes towards the end but doesn't really pull it off.
b. The newcomer Andrea is not quite there yet, especially with some lip-sync problems (may have been a technical issue). There is nothing special about her presence on screen apart from that she looks attractive in some scenes.
c. Jyothika does a neat job in the first half of the movie as Sarath's love interest. But as one of the villains in the piece, she is reduced to a caricature and reprises her 'Chandramukhi' brand of glowering in some of the scenes.
d. Milind Soman (aided amply by Gautham's voice) acquits himself creditably, managing to appear 'coolly menacing' without going over-the-top.
d. The music, which sounds like you have 'heard it before' is saved only by the title piece (the violin solo) which is again part of the now-usual hit combo of Harris Jayaraj and Bombay Jayashree. Apart from the song 'Unakkul Naney' which has received quite a lot of airtime on radio, the rest of the numbers are forgettable.
e. The songs were presented quite unimaginatively and the grim reaper sequence was downright absurd. For all the 'DI/super35' buzz the producers and director tried to generate prior to release, there was nothing to show for it. Arvind Krisha does an average job at best, aided by excessive color-correction (which has been apparent in Gautham's movies since 'Vettayadu Vilayadu') in post.
f. The script meanders towards the end of the movie with extended scenes inserted for fights and songs. Logical progression and conclusion has been sacrificed, presumably for box-office success.
g. The film didn't generate enough buzz post-release, despite all the money that was pumped into the hoardings and tie-in promotions. It died a natural death, with an average rating from the box office. The box-office collections were however, healthy enough for the producers, it is said.
All that said, Sarath Kumar has delivered an understudy that will prove to a lot of cynics that he is capable of subtlety. The tentativeness that he portrays (he appears, very convincingly, unsure of "taking the next step") all through the early part of his relationship with Jyothika's character up to the turning point is palpable.
But that is about the only saving grace. The box-office and cinemas are a merciless place sometimes. And you are only as good as your next movie! Gautham has tough task on his next venture, which is rumored to be another 'remake' or 'inspiration'. From a Hollywood HIT, this time.
We'll have to wait and see how that turns out in Tamil.
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