A young doctor decides to expose the inhuman working conditions in a factory run by a selfish owner. Attempts are made on her life, but two aimless drifters whom she encounters on a train come to her rescue.
Like the recent
Oru Oorula Rendu Raja
is also about an individual's fight against a merciless capitalist. But the similarity ends there. This one is not a star vehicle like the former, and also uses the plot to inject some tension into the narrative, which otherwise is content to coast on the antics of its leading men.
The film begins with a factory worker dying of a sudden heart attack and the action then cuts to the antics of the heroes — Azhagu (Vemal) and Michael (Soori) — who are on the train after the latter's failed attempt to elope with his girlfriend. They meet Priya (Priya Anand), a doctor, for whom Azhagu promptly falls for. When a murder attempt is made on Priya, Azhagu saves her and Priya narrates her story. She is trying to expose the inhuman working conditions in the steel factory run by Selva Vinayagam and his wife, who are self-centered individuals with nothing but contempt for their workers' lives. Priya's friend, who is a worker in the factory, dies in an accident at work, and this incident forces her to file a PIL against the factory owners, who want to stop her from making it to the court in Chennai for the hearing.
Oru Oorula Rendu Raja
wants to be a well intentioned message movie but sadly, the message is lost because of the lack of focus in the script. Kannan wants to give us a comedy as well and that dilutes the seriousness of the plot. Too much time is wasted in the first half on the shenanigans of Azhagu and Michael, who are the latest in the wastrels that Tamil cinema keeps celebrating of late. Even after the actual plot kicks into gear, we keep getting unwanted comedy; a track involving Thambi Ramaiah, whose only job nowadays seems to be popping up in every film, is plain irritating. Then, there are the songs, which are catchy as an album, but in the film, they are excruciating speed bumps for the narrative, which is quite formulaic — there is even a tragic flashback, except that we are not moved by the tragedy.
The film, however, is a welcome return for Nasser in his villain avatar. Though he did play a villainous character in
, here, despite the underwritten role, the actor is wonderful to watch, especially in the scene where he defends himself in the court and then arrogantly tells off Priya. The court scene is a minor triumph for Kannan — there are no grandstanding speeches but a matter-of-fact earnestness that is credible. The director also does well in a fight scene involving a hired killer. Azhagu and Michael fight not as film heroes but as normal young men who make up for lack of fighting skills with resolve. It is a pity that the film doesn't offer many such unusual moments and resolves everything with a climax that feels forced and false.