Tamizh and his two friends are offered a huge sum of money by businessman Hippie Lahiri to kidnap Isha, who, incidentally, happens to be Tamizh's lover, on her wedding day. Will they be able to pull it off? Or, are there divine forces at play here?
It seems Chimbudevan just cannot make a film without an element of fantasy.
Oru Kanniyum Moonu Kalavanikalam
), like last year's
Naveena Saraswathi Sabatham
, opens not on Earth but in the celestial abode of the gods. We see Bramha sitting atop a giant lotus and Naradar meeting him just in the nick of time before he goes to sleep. This talk about time makes them approach Shiva, who, to show them how every minute is important (every day has many fates in it, is how he puts it), chooses one random person in the real world to prove his theory.
That person happens to be Tamizh (Arulnithi), a cash-strapped young man, who we see plotting a kidnap with his friends Malar (Bindu Madhavi) and Ramanujam Esakki (Bagavathi Perumal). They have been promised Rs 30 lakh by Hippie Lahiri (Nasser), a bling-sporting Malaysian businessman, to kidnap Isha (Ashrita), the daughter of his rival. And, oh, incidentally, Isha also happens to be Tamizh's girlfriend and so, for Tamizh, this is "
Ore kallula oru manga oru thenga
The first hour of
is a terrific, nail-biting black comedy cum thriller. We get a gun-toting, Siruvar Malar-reading cop, a chase that intercuts with a romantic backstory, a gun that is in orange, pink and yellow, and superb turns from a dozen recognizable character actors, atmospheric cinematography (by SR Kathir), sharp lines ("
yezhai dhaan thirudan
") and what seems to be an interesting development — Tamizh is shot at and we are genuinely shocked; a hero dying midway through the film?
And, then, the director cuts back to the gods and we realize his true intentions. The film instantly turns into a what-if movie — what if Tamizh had started a minute late or another minute later? The director, to his credit, acknowledges Tom Tyker's
Run Lola Run
, in the end credits. But, suddenly, the fizz goes away from the film as we are shown reiterations of the same set of circumstances playing out differently. And, for a film that is all about the value of time, the director takes a rather longer time to tell this story; there is even a stab at melodrama (thankfully, it is only half-hearted).
To be fair, Chimbudevan at least manages to make these scenes interesting, with his humourous lines and inventive writing (even the interval point arrives when there is an interval on screen) but we realize we have nothing more to expect from the film other than the amusement of seeing the same scenes taking place differently. But the one what-if that the directors fails to explore is much more fascinating — what if Tamizh had managed to somehow kidnap Isha, despite being wounded? We cannot escape the feeling that Chimbudevan got stuck at this point while writing and decided to take the easy way out by turning this into a genre that he is familiar with — fantasy.
The lead trio are competent and do make us root for them, but it is supporting actors like Nasser, Delhi Ganesh, Mano Bala, Aadukalam Naren, Jayaprakash and VS Raghavan (who gets the cheekiest line in the film after uniting Tamizh with Isha: "
serthu vekkalaina, marupadiyum modhalla irundhu varuvaanga
", taking a dig at the script's construct) who are the real stars here. They are all just so perfect in their parts and create a memorable impression despite the miniscule screen time and that is certainly Chimbudevan's triumph.