Time: A few centuries ago
Main Act: Kuselan a childhood friend and devotee of Lord Krishna lived in poverty and hunger. Taking his wife’s advice, armed with a pack of rice flakes wondering if the Lord would recognize him he proceeded to visit the Lord to request his help to tide over his bad times. Lord Krishna recognized and embraced Kuselan and treated him as an honored guest. He was curious about the pack under Kuselan’s arms, the rice flakes which Kuselan had been embarrassed to present to the Lord as it was poor man’s food and not really fit for a king. When the Lord came to know, he chided Kuselan and ate the rice flakes with immense happiness and excitement.
When Kuselan returned to his village, he was surprised to find that his old hut had been transformed into a palatial bungalow!! He had been blessed by the lord and would no longer live a life of poverty and hunger but a life of great comfort and luxury.
Verdict: Touching story of true and lasting friendship.
Cut to present day
Place: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Time: 2008! A lazy week end at the theatres
Main Act: The lifestyle of the village barber Balu borders on poverty. He is barely able to support his wife who breaks plenty of cooking pots and kids and is behind on their school fees payment. His business is being stolen by a fellow barber who used to apprentice under Balu. A movie crew visits the village for a shooting and the hero of the movie is a current day superstar Ashok who also happens to be Balu’s childhood friend. The village folk are on Balu’s case, so that they can visit Ashok, snap pictures with him or invite him to preside over their local school functions. Balu hesitates as he is not sure if his friend would recognize him as he still belongs to the lowest strata of the society and Ashok is a larger than life star. Life becomes difficult for Balu as everyone accuse him of lying about his friendship with Ashok. But the clouds of humiliation clears away when Ashok recognizes his friend at the school function and embraces his old friend and returns with him to Balu’s house.
My comments: This movie is a classic example of one that has comedy tracks for the sake of it! None of those tracks managed to make me smile and I found myself mostly squirming out of disgust! Vadivelu needs a serious change of image and dialogue delivery style! The whole idea of an idiot with a greedy and glamorous wife with him being a peeping tom to his fitness conscious wife or an actress changing was despicable! Generating business by drugging and stealing from prospective clients was too much to digest. It just wasn’t funny! To add to this misery, there was another gang of actors who call themselves comedians headed by Livingston and the result – more squirms and an increased headache!
The character of the real / reel life heroine – Nayanthara! Agreed she worked hard on obtaining that body but the lady needs a designer! At this point I wonder how this movie was awarded a ‘U’ certificate. I thought the censor board would do their job in ensuring that close up shots of her ‘wah–wah’s’ are chopped from the film! I pity the parents who had to have ‘the talk’ with their kids after they had watched this ‘family’ movie. And to think that Nayan has stooped so low – literally and figuratively; she is definitely no Kajol when it comes to prancing around in the rain with those ultra mini white skirts and transparent white tie shirts and she could definitely do with a refresher course in basics of acting.
Now for the redeeming characteristics of the movie, the main characters of this movie Pasupathi and Meena did what everyone should have done: justice to their roles of a quiet barber with amazingly high moraility levels and his supportive wife. Superstar Rajini looked good, (however he needs to consider a change in lipstick color, deep maroon doesn’t flatter him) played himself and did it well but he could not carry this disaster on his shoulders. There were two songs that were melodious and other than these factors this was one terrible movie!
Verdict: Does Kollywood churn out quality cinema these days?? Did the producers and directors of this movie think that the public would watch this movie because of the Superstar factor and a leading lady who was willing to drop more than what the pubic bargained for? It seems that they were riding solely on this factor for the film’s success. Well, we are not crazy and that is all I have to say apart from the following! I didn’t want to do another piece featuring the superstar (I like him!) but then the makers of this movie have forced me. On that note, to all parties involved in this project, try watching the movies that you make and check if it is entertaining before you release it. Ever heard the concept of a test audience?? If not look it up! What could have been a wonderful movie on friendship, inspired from the touching story of friendship shared between Lord Krishna and childhood friend Kuselan just turned out to be a big dud because you take us, the paying masses for granted. Our brains function and analyze more than your imagination and we will definitely think twice before putting our wallets on a diet to watch movies from this team in the future.