: A local gangster in Madurai bids adieu to his past life. Years later, in his late 50s, he falls in love with a young girl, which changes his life.
: Given that it’s been six months since the release of a Simbu (aka STR) film, quite naturally, fans go berserk when his name appears on screen, with the caption, ‘Neenge Illama Naan Illa’. The story kicks off in Dubai, where a detective (Kasturi) is on a mission to nab a most-wanted criminal. Before we can decide whether her new appearance is cool, we are shown an unconvincingly portrayed old man (Mahat), who starts narrating the story of his friend and the stuff that happened in the latter’s life three decades ago.
Cut to Madurai, Michael (Simbu), a paid thug, is shown escaping the jail in style. Though the scene is a little exaggerated, this intro scene goes down well with the actor’s fans. He falls in love with Selvi (Shriya Saran), the most beautiful girl in town. Michael tries to woo her in all possible ways, even at the cost of her dad’s (YG Mahendra) life. Eventually, he succeeds in making her go weak in knees. She asks him to lead a normal life in return, but fate has different plans for them.
The story then moves to Chennai, where we encounter Ashwin thatha (Simbu, again). A gracefully aged man in his late 50s, he is yearning for a partner in his life. He is filthy rich and has VTV Ganesh and Rajendran as his aides. After ‘auditioning’ a few ladies, a disappointed Ashwin then falls in love with Ramya (Tamannaah), a much younger girl. Will Ramya be able to understand and appreciate Ashwin’s honest feelings for her?
Simbu, as expected gives an energetic performance as Madurai Michael, but his avatar as Ashwin thatha isn’t that convincing, thanks to the uneven makeup, which is evident in many scenes. A few of his histrionics in the first half is sufficient enough to make his admirers go crazy, but things turn out to be different in the later part. VTV Ganesh, Rajendran and Mahat are adequate as supporting characters. Tamannaah oozes glamour in almost all the scenes she appears in and is a treat to watch, if you do not bother much about the scope she has for acting. Shriya, as a Madurai ponnu, looks traditional, but her character, too, isn’t developed convincingly. While Swaminathan does what he does in most of the films, Kovai Sarala doesn’t make much impact, and YG Mahendra surprises with his bizarre acts.
Yuvan Shankar Raja once again provides peppy, fast-paced background score for a Simbu film. But a confusing screenplay, without proper connection between the past and present portions, spoils the little fun the film offers. What starts as a supposedly mass masala entertainer tailor-made for fans, ends up as a below average fare, thanks to the unconvincing second half, overly sexist double entendres, clichéd dialogues and scenes about love failure. One wonders if there would ever be an end to the excessive obsession for romance and its weird interpretations in STR films. It doesn’t matter as long as it entertains in a harmless manner, but here, it is unnecessarily preachy and filled with irritating, sweeping statements. That said, the dialogues about Simbu’s off-screen life are quite enjoyable.
A suspense cameo towards the end makes things worse as the film, by then, makes one yawn unapologetically. A saving grace in the last few minutes is the inclusion of another character of STR, the story of which will be narrated in the second instalment. But, after watching this one, how many of us would be interested in taking that risk is the question. The film has the ‘Adhik stamp’ written all over it, but we will leave it to your imagination to interpret whether that is good or bad.