When a drunken Bala hits a pregnant lady on the road, he has to go searching for Kumar, whose rare blood group is required for the lady to survive. But with the latter keen on drowning out of the sorrow of rejection by his lover in liquor, can Bala find him before that happens?
Vijay Sethupathi proves once again that he has acumen for picking up the right script.
Idharkuthaane Aasaipattai Balakumara
(or Idhaaba as it is known in the online world) lacks the sophistication of a
but makes up for it in sheer likeability. And in Sumaar Mooni Kumar, Vijay Sethupathi has a colourful character who is definitely his most populist (not mass, mind you) character so far. In the real world, Kumar would be a stalker but the over-the-top nature of Sethupathi's performance reminds us always that he is a fictional character who should only be taken as an entertainer.
Kumar is head over heels in love with Kumudha (Nandita), the girl who lives opposite his home, and the story begins with Kumudha's father Shanmugam (Raja) approaching Annachi (Pasupathy's dyspeptic performance is a variation of what he did in Mumbai Xpress), a bar owner cum dispute settler, to intervene and warn off Kumar. But Kumar proves to be a pain in the you-know-where for Annachi with his exuberance. Meanwhile, there is Bala (Ashwin), a marketing executive with a biased boss and an annoying girlfriend, Renuka (Swati). He takes solace in liquor, despite Renu forcing him to take a 'no drinks' resolution on her birthday. And, on a parallel track, we have Painter Rajendran and Patti Babu, two small-time crooks, who murder a man in Annachi's bar, at the behest of his wife. All these characters come into each other's life in a quirky manner, offering much laughter to the viewer.
His debut Rowthiram was an uneven effort but in Idhaaba, Gokul is more surefooted, deftly weaving plotlines and confidently untying the knots in his script. He also nicely sets up the tone and maintains it very well till the end. Yes, the film is a little loud but the script, dealing with characters like Kumar and Rajendran, demands that tone. The story's anti-drinking message is also subtly conveyed. The lines by Gokul and Madhan Karky are really funny here and the eccentricity of the characters, like MS Bhaskar, who appears only for a few scenes as Bala's Malayalee boss, only betters them. This is also an equal opportunity script — it is not just Kumar who gets the best scenes, but also Bala and even Rajendran and Soori.
On the downside, Gokul takes the entire first half to set up the characters and only in the second half does he get into the story's actual conceit — a drunken Bala hits a pregnant lady who ends up in the hospital and needs a rare group of blood, which only Kumar has. But Kumar is hell bent on drowning out of the sorrow of Kumudha's rejection in liquor before the night ends, and Bala has to find him before that happens. So, the entire first half involves just the shenanigans of Kumar, Bala and the two murderers, which while entertaining, doesn't move the story forward. And, in the second half, because of certain diversions like Soori's character, the Bala searching for Kumar arc loses a bit of nail-biting tension that it needed to have.