Raghuvaran, who is unemployed for years, gets his dream job but a powerful rival is keen to put him down. Can he take on his adversary?
, we see Dhanush being criticized by his father for being jobless, doted on by his mother, pitied by the heroine and underrated by the villain. In essence, he is playing a role that he has played many times in his 25-films-old career. The plot, too, is a mixture of the relationship drama in his brother Selvaraghavan's films and our regular masala films, in which the David-like hero takes on the Goliath-like villain and brings him down to his knees. And, yet, the film feels fresh and Velraj (the cinematographer making his directorial debut) superbly manages to strike a balance between the emotional and mass hero moments.
Raghuvaran (Dhanush) is a jobless youngster, who wants to take up only the job of a civil engineer, as that is what he has studied for. His unemployment is a reason for his father (Samuthirakani) to berate him, more so because his brother, Karthik (Hrishikesh), who is three years younger, is comfortably employed. The only support for him comes from his mother Bhuvana (Saranya) and Shalini (Amala Paul), the girl next door, who gets why he wants only his dream job. A tragedy leads to Raghu finally catching a break and he is entrusted with a major project. However, the envious and arrogant scion of a rival developer (Amitesh) is plotting to scuttle his plans and take over the project himself.
The first half of the film is its beating heart and Velraj nicely sets up the relationships between the characters. Raghuvaran's household is quite realistic and the interactions between the flesh-and-blood characters natural. When Raghu's mother comforts him in an earlier scene, she does so with a mixture of pride (he has designed a telescope-like object all by himself to ogle at the heroine) and hope that mothers usually have for their children. When he has a showdown with his father, we see how a normal argument can spill over into something bigger (Resenting the constant comparisons with his brother, he retorts that his parents named him after a villain while his brother has a hero's name). When his parents talk to each other, they speak in a manner in which people who have been married for years and understand each other talk. We are provided with little, little details about these people that we start believing them. For example, Raghu's father is younger than his mother and they married after falling in love and was a firebrand in his college days. his sophisticated brother went to an English medium school while the crude-on-the-outside Raghu did not.
And despite being jobless, Raghu is not a wastrel. He drinks, smokes and seems crude on the outside compared to Karthik, but we are told the latter was sent to an English medium school while he wasn't. He is also frank enough to admit to Shalini that he is a little jealous of his brother but will not reveal to his father that it was he who helped the goody two shoes Karthik at a crucial stage.
The film changes colour in its second half and from a family drama, it becomes a commercial film. It is fantastic to see Dhanush take this boy-next-door to mass hero mode and he has quite a few punchy lines (he has a memorable breathless dialogue that is sure to be talked about). The actor seems to know that this is his show and puts quite an effort into the role, even though he has played such roles frequently. However, the problem is that the film pits him against an antagonist who is more of a wuss than a serious threat.
These portions also feel less organic compared to the ones in the first half. But the real trouble is that they also seem needlessly stretched. We get a comedy track of sorts (which while brining a smile also brings down the momentum) and a needless climatic fight (even after the villain has been vanquished) that is solely intended to showcase Dhanush's six-pack. This could still have been a rousing finish but the stunt choreography is quite dull that it fails to pack a punch.