Aravind, a principled young man, takes on the corrupt officers in the government. They soon launch a counter-attack. Will Aravind emerge victorious or succumb to their wiles?
There is a particular moment in
when you stop taking the film seriously and exasperatedly just let it run its course. It happens when CBI officer Michael (Sarath Kumar, in a guest appearance) comes flying out of nowhere in a car and crashes into a truck which is telecasting, illegally, an interview with the protagonist Aravind Sivaswamy (Jayam Ravi), who is doing an expose on corrupt government officials. The truck is moving along on the Bangalore-Chennai highway, and only in the previous minute, we have been shown Michael, who is apparently in Chennai, telling a TV channel head that he has challenged his ego and he will not rest until he captures Aravind (notice the topical relevance of the name). And so, when Michael joins the chase in Supermanesque fashion, it is a little surreal and so absurd.
Until then, the film does seem to be on the right track (as far as our "commercial" films go), playing out like an alternate version of the Rules Ramanujam track from
(directed by Shankar, who, by the way, owns this genre). As in that film, we get a "day in the life of" segment and witness how Aravind, with his penchant for following rules, ends up in a wretched state, questioning everything in the society. He refuses to bribe a cop which results in his two-wheeler being seized, which gets him to travel in a bus, which leads to him losing his wallet to a pickpocket, which lands him in trouble with the police, who are hand in glove with the crooks, and he ends up in jail. Still, Aravind refuses to give up his principles and chooses to be behind the bars and when he is taken before a magistrate, he even manages to point his fingers at the judge accusing him of employing a tout, which only worsens his situation.
But, when he comes out of prison, with the help of the well-meaning lawyer Raja Senthoorapandian (Subbu Panchu) and his friend Ramachandran (Soori), Aravind shoots off mails to every head of the department in the government narrating his story, which leads to the suspension of the accused officers, who get-together and plot to remove him from their path.
These scenes have a swiftness that keeps things from turning dull while camouflaging the flaws. The dialogue too is witty and sharp (
Ellarum follow panna thaan rules, but follow pannravan ellam fools
), and strikes a chord, igniting righteous anger in us. Sadly, that is short-lived as the film soon does a spectacular nose-dive. The accused officers (147 in number) form a team, elect a group to take decisions on the behalf and take on Aravind's case. As luck would have it, they also manage to find a man, the shifty Narasimha Reddy, who looks exactly like Aravind.
And, the director sacrifices sense for scale and makes serious episodes seem like farce while turning the intended funny ones less amusing. Songs crop at the most inopportune moments, an action sequence happens just to showcase a Ravi vs Ravi fight, the preachifying tone of the film increases exponentially, and a final twist of sorts makes us question many things that we have seen before, from the need for the Reddy character to the inconsistencies in the characterization of Aravind and even the insistence of Samuthirakani in wanting to be the conscience keeper of the society.