Kesavan (Vemal) and Murugan (Sivakarthikeyan) are content to live out of their fathers pockets, whiling away time with their buddies and wooing their respective lovers. How do they turn responsible adults?
"Namma plus-ae namma minus dhaan" is the standard refrain of Kesavan and Murugan, the wastrels who are the leads in
Pandiraj's Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga
and that applies to the film as well. By now, the tale of a wastrel turning responsible has been done to death in Tamil cinema but what sets this film apart is in the refreshingly effortless manner in which the director spins his tale.
Kesavan and Murugan are thick friends and aspiring politicians (even if their ambitions only reach till the level of a ward councilor). They are also the scourge of their fathers (Manoj Kumar and Delhi Ganesh, for whom this is a spirited comeback of sorts) who were once close friends but now stand split, blaming one another for the behaviour of their irresponsible sons. But Pandiraj is less interested in telling how these two aimless young men reform. Rather, he focuses on how they make merry with their equally wastrel of a buddy Sindu (Soori), their romances and their misguided political entry. Murugan falls in love with Paapa (Regina), a Xerox shop owner's daughter, while Kesavan gets interested in Mithra (Bindu), a nurse who can land a knockout punch.
As he did in his previous films, Pandiraj uses these romantic tracks as comic elements but at the same time, he never strains too much to make them laugh-out-loud funny. Like his leading men, the director's ambitions too are on a smaller scale — keep things entertaining without bothering too much on pacing or plot development. The film progresses languidly, content in keeping us entertained with the trio's shenanigans. Pandiraj is surefooted enough and knows his characters and the world they inhabit (he even provides endearing backstories for the major characters) that he lets scenes linger just that bit longer injecting humour through his dialogues. Things never turn too serious, not until the very last. There are no hurdles to be cleared in the romantic tracks in the form of villains (even the annoyed dads are agreeable) and the political battle is staged in a lighthearted fashion, sans any rousing contest, and mimed only for further jokes.
This is why the ending, which is full-blown father-son melodrama, could have been a big letdown. However, Pandiraj confidently pushes the right emotional buttons without making the scenes too sentimental (as it happened with his otherwise brilliant debut
). The manipulation is done with a sleight of hand, and with the lines that hit their mark ("Thirutharatha varutharatha nenachukitta") that we don't mind choking up a bit by the time the film ends.