Synopsis: A compulsive gambler learns about a horse race that is going to be fixed, and tries to capitalise on it. Meanwhile, his friend gets into trouble over a bag containing Rs 50 lakh cash.
Review: Set against the backdrop of horse racing, Ennodu Vilaiyadu wants to reveal the murky side of the sport — the gambling, the egos, and the race fixing. Its protagonist, Vikram (Bharath) is a compulsive gambler who doesn’t mind using his office’s money to bet on horses. So, it’s not surprising that when he chances upon a plan to fix a race, he decides to use this knowledge to his advantage — to make up for all the losses that he has suffered, which have left him reeling in debt, and to make an impression on his girlfriend Minnie’s (Chandini) father.
But then, by a quirk of fate, the situation changes. A bag of cash that is to be given to Sharma (Yog Japee), a horse owner who agrees to lose the race to big shot Nagulan (Radha Ravi), who is making a re-entry into the sport after five years, ends up in the car of Sridhar (Kathir), a youngster who has come to the city for work (he also happens to be Vikram’s friend). But Sridhar doesn’t know that the cash is in his car. Meanwhile, Vikram and Nagulan’s henchmen are scouring the city for it. But when he does discover the money, Sridhar decides to use it to reclaim the house belonging to his girlfriend Inba (Sanchita Shetty). Who ends up with the cash in the end, and what happens to the race?
“Kudhirai dhaan kadavul, race dhaan religion,” says a character in Ennodu Vilaiyadu, but for a film that is so enamoured by horse racing, it often pushes this aspect to the sideline. The writing isn’t forceful enough and the film spends too much time on inane romantic tracks that drain the film of mood and rob its energy. This is why we feel indifferent towards it and its characters. At least, the Sridhar-Inba track has some novelty going for it, but Vikram’s scenes with Minnie are downright irritating. The performances, too, are just functional, and even the reliable Radha Ravi feels like a shadow of his usual self. The film gains some momentum exactly in two places — during the pre-interval scene when the cash ends up in Sridhar’s car, and the climactic race, where the director crosscuts between the various players and injects some tension into the proceedings. But these aren’t enough to take it past the finish line.