Why isn't Anu's mom repentant? Why is Nagavalli (Anupama Parameswaran) reduced to a caricature? What happened to the ferocity of Pallam Venkanna (Rao Ramesh) and well, didn't we deserve a better ending?
There's There's a really interesting dialogue by Rao Ramesh in A... Aa: "Road widening lo sagam kottesina building la undi paristiti... Undadaaniki veelu kadhu. Vadaladaniki manasu raadu," he says. Why interesting? Because it perfectly sums up how you feel about the film after watching it! Because Trivikram takes you on this ride which will leave you with mixed emotions making you both like it for its simplicity and freshness and dislike it for not being told well enough.
If you've watched Krishna and Vijaya Nirmala's Meena (1979), then A... Aa will be a story you know, albeit with a modern take. The adaptation of Yeddanapudi's novel of the same name, the film had the story of a rich, city-bred girl who is wants to break free unable to bear her overpowering mother. She falls for her bava when she happens to go on a trip to his village but that's when trouble begins because their families have long running differences.
Well, Trivikram really gives this modern take an edge of its own and sets it apart from both the book and the earlier film. In fact, the contemporary take of the adaptation is done extremely well by And rehashing that tale, Trivikram takes us into the lives of Anasuya Ramalingam (A - Samantha) and Aanand Vihari (Aa - Nithiin) and of course, their families. And in terms of adaptation to suit the present times, the director does a fabulous job weaving in new characters and giving the old characters a new spin. In fact, despite being a very old story, he makes it feel extremely new and the first half of the film is a treat to watch.
He is called the matala mantrikudu for a reason and enthuses us with some quirky one liners, the best being mouthed by Rao Ramesh. But there's one that Nithiin says which did get quite a few whistles: "Watch unna prativadu time ostundanukuntadu... Kani chuskuntadante." Cool, eh? And his narrative and writing are aided by Mickey J Meyer's music which is refreshing and the camerawork of Natarajan and Dudley who give the film a visual splendour.
He brings in the likes of Naresh (makes us wonder why anyone doesn't give him more to do!), Rao Ramesh (does his brilliance need an explanation?) and Anupama Parameswaran (she's vivacious despite the patchy character sketch) who stand out from the rest.
But then, there's a downside for this film too. Somehow, the chemistry between Nithiin and Samantha doesn't really work. Both of them individually do a great job, especially Nithiin who has given his best ever performance, but as a pair there's an evident awkwardness which is sad considering the film's prime plot is their love story. But that's probably because Trivikram doesn't really establish how and why they fall for each other. You even wonder if he is actually in love with her or is just plotting revenge from her mother.
Otherwise, it's not like A... Aa is perfect because it has its own little niggles. The countryside is reduced into something unreal with excessive graphics and the flavour of the village doesn't really hit the viewer. Trivikram takes his own pace in narrating the second half, so much so, it becomes tedious and then, all of a sudden, he hurriedly ends the film making you wonder what just happened. And just as the end titles roll, you are getting up from your seat with so many doubts in mind - Why isn't Anu's mom repentant? Why is Nagavalli (Anupama Parameswaran) reduced to a caricature? What happened to the ferocity of Pallam Venkanna (Rao Ramesh) and well, didn't we deserve a better ending?