Four friends loot cash belonging to a bank but the money is taken by Kannamma, their acquaintance and an effeminate idli seller. With a bent cop after, they must try to get the money back from Kannamma, who wants to marry one of them in return.
There are few things that make for a painful watch than comedy that is devoid of jokes and
Rasigargal Narpani Mandram
is the kind of comedy film that has a knot that could have been funny if only the people involved in the production had a feel for the material and known how to turn it into a comedy.
To its credit, there is a plot that would have made for a solid black comedy. It involves four desperate men, who under the influence of alcohol, decide to loot an ATM (wearing masks of MGR, Sivaji, Rajini and Kamal, thereby providing the film an excuse for the title) and end up with much more money than they imagined. But when they wake up, they find the money gone and a cop, who is planning to take the money for herself) hot on their heels. Now, they have to do everything — even marry the effeminate guy who took the money — to get it back.
There are a few elements here that promise something quirky — an effeminate antagonist, a gay marriage presided over by a priest, a godman-like gangster, a spoof of Speed, and we can see that the people behind the film were genuinely thinking that they were making a screwball comedy, but we, as the audience, never feel their enthusiasm. Instead, there is something wannabe about the whole project, written by Vanitha and directed by choreographer Robert. We get situations that can make for black comedy but despite the constant buzz of the background score, the scenes never come alive. The actors keep missing their comic timing by a beat or two, there is no rhythm in the scenes and there is hardly any laughter arising organically from the nuttiness of the plot and the desperation of the leads.
In their place, we get actors trying hard to make their lines funny and ending up loud (though Ramji nails the effeminate character quite well), non-existent staging, which makes the visuals (barring a slickly-shot song that is a rejig of Chandrababu's
Buddhi Ulla Manidharellaam
) look like something out of a TV comedy show, unfunny cameos (Power Star Srinivasan and Premgi Amaren), unnecessary sleaze (in the way of a character who is oh-so-imaginatively named Silk) and an unfocussed script that goes everywhere and does everything except making us laugh.