Sunday, August 28, 2005

Oru Naal Oru Kanavu


Oru Naal Oru Kanavu is like a dish that has all the right ingredients and a famous chef but still ends up tasting bad. The film has a likeable lead pair, good music and an experienced director not unfamiliar with the romance genre, at the helm. But the film is a complete letdown. And just as its the cook who is responsible for the bad quality of the dish, the blame for the film's failure lays squarely with its director Fazil.

Mayadevi(Sonia Agarwal) sees Srinivasan(Srikanth) everyday as he runs around doing multiple jobs and admires him for that. An argument between them results in Maya challenging Seenu to love her. After realizing that Maya isn't going to let him live in peace, Seenu decides to make her fall for him before breaking her heart by revealing that he doesn't reciprocate her feelings.

It looks like our directors are really running out of ideas for situations where the hero and heroine fall for each other. Here Sonia falls for Srikanth after seeing him be a busybee! But I guess we can be glad that she doesn't fall for a rowdy or dada.

ONOK has some really poor characterization and among some rather inconsistent and weak characters, Sonia's is the worst. She is initially shown as a frivolous girl playing pranks on unsuspecting strangers but we learn later that she actually has a lot of emotional baggage. I was never sure what her real feelings towards Srikanth were and her thought process seems rather strange(her way of getting him to like her is to really irritate him by getting him fired from his jobs!). With such an enigmatic heroine, is it any wonder the screenplay is so confusing?

The movie is atleast engaging as long the focus is on Srikanth and Sonia. Sonia's challenge and Srikanth's plan point to an interesting screenplay even if we can guess how the movie will proceed. But once the couple's families come into the story, the screenplay turns completely amateurish. The characters in both their families are cliched and one of two extremes - they are either perfect or candidates for members of the family from hell. On one hand is Sonia's money-hungry family complete with the America-returned suitor. And on the other is Srikanth's perfect family that lives in a perfect little house, where love overflows, and even sings together.

The film begins to meander towards the end which gives the impression that Fazil wasn't really sure how to wrap things up. There were atleast two points where the climax seemed imminent but I then groaned inwardly as the screenplay took another turn. The movie also becomes a hotchpotch of screenplays from other movies from this point as we get all the situations and characters in a rich girl-poor boy story, a rags-to-riches story, etc.

Srikanth, who usually plays a soft and silent loverboy, gets to play a more exuberant role here. Though he overdoes it at a couple of places, he is good overall. I've never been a big fan of Sonia Agarwal. She has a perennially downcast face that even a wide smile fails to light up. So she seems miscast in the initial portions. She looks quite fat too(maybe the retakes of the Khajuraho... song sequence were responsible for this!) Ilavarasu and Stephen(the friend in Kaadhal) try in vain to raise a few laughs.

Kaatril Varum Geethame... sounds glorious though the picturization is a little too idyllic. Khajuraho...'s picturization is a letdown but Konjam Thira..., which plays in the background, is used suitably. Ponnukkoru... gets the prize for the most unnecessary and thrust-in song sequence.

Oru Naal Oru Nightmare is more like it!

34 Comments:

At 12:48 AM, Anonymous GP said...

Welcome back, Balaji.. Hope you had a great vacation..

 
At 1:42 AM, Blogger Kaps said...

Srikanth has missed a chance to make a comeback.

Sun TV Top 10 Movies verdict -
Oru Naal Oru Kanavu
Kadaisiyil Pagal Kanavu

 
At 2:13 AM, Blogger bladehawk1404 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:18 AM, Blogger bladehawk1404 said...

Balaji glad to see you back. I fully agree with you regarding ONOK. This film is vry poor in almost all departments and vry old fashioned. Director Fazil is running out of ideas and seem to reharsh scenes from his old films. Srikanth has missed the bus yet again as this film is a big flop at the b-o according to sify. Eventough his last film Kana Kanden was better it still wasn't a big success. Sonia Agarwal who is as wooden as a brick in almost all her films needs to rely on Selvaraghavan's Pudhupettai to ressurect her flagging career once again.

 
At 5:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It really wasn't so bad:-) Had a few laughs in the initial portion. But certainly bad screenplay plus poor music ruined the film. The lead were pretty good, srikanth went over though. Second straight tamil film of Fazil's to bomb. Disappointing.

-Kajan

 
At 5:19 AM, Blogger Suresh Kumar said...

worst movie i have ever seen in my life. i didn't even want to waste my time on reviewing it.

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger Nithya Swaminathan said...

Welcome back BB... I lost all hope on Fazil after Kannukkul Nilavu itself... Its a pity that such crap comes from the same guy who directed Poovizhi Vaasalile & Varusham 16!!! What a sad state!

LOL @ the perennially sad face.. yeah, I agree with u.. she looks very weird! and has a very pathetically shaped mouth, that when she smiles also it looks like something else..;-)

 
At 9:39 AM, Anonymous ram said...

bb, am yet to catch ONOK...but was surprised to see that you hated the movie...coz sify seemed to have given the movie a resounding two-thumbs up...

too bad Fazil couldnt make a comeback after that disastrous "Kannukkull Nilavu," which you liked, if my memory serves me right!

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger Ganesh said...

balaji
indha padam ippo thaney Madrasila release achu eppadi patheenga
?

LA-instant releasea ?

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

gp, thanx. its good to be back :)

kaps, surprised. thot sun tv had good things to say about every movie... but they're right on this one.

bh, KK was way better than this one. Srikanth was 1 of the few things good in ONOK i thot...

kajan, very few laughs :) i think the scene where the 3 guys talk about diff. girls was the only scene that was funny.

suresh, wouldn't go that far but defly one of the most disappointing :(

nithya, yep. how the mighty have fallen! agree fully on sonia. she has a square face too.

ram, i know. a couple of other sites like indiaglitz and tamilcinema have given thumbs up too making me wonder if they saw the same movie! and yeah, i thot there were some good things in 'kannukkul nilavu'. gave it 2 stars.

ganesh, not LA. bay area simultaneous release...

 
At 2:17 PM, Anonymous ram said...

OT, whats the most glaring mistake in this "feature?"
http://www.behindwoods.com/features/Slideshows/Slideshows1/rajiniwithavm/index.html
rajni fans should know the answer!

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, velaikkaaran wasn't an AVM film, was it? in that case, which AVM-rajni movie did the slideshow miss?

 
At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not see "Payum Puli" in the list of Rajini-AVM movies. Is that the most glaring mistake that you were referring to?

 
At 3:27 PM, Anonymous ram said...

velaikaaran was a kavithalaya film...that was the "mistake" I was referring to...

have no idea about Paayum Puli though...

btw, the "friend in Kaadhal"-- I thought his name was Sukumar?? His character's name in "Kaadhal" is Stephen...paera maathikuttaana?

 
At 3:51 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon's right. 'paayum puli' was an avm production and that answers my question on which film the slideshow missed :)

ram, sukumar thaan. guess that shows how much the character stayed with me!

 
At 4:52 PM, Anonymous ram said...

bb, i know what you mean...those characters were "real" in every sense of the word!

 
At 6:09 PM, Anonymous b a l a j i said...

bb,

first time I find you being so critical. The movie should be really pathetic.

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger Arvind said...

oh apdiya - this combo used to do something different everytime - sad to hear they failed !

 
At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bb, didn't mention anything on BGM, as Fazil-IR combo have given some great BGMs including their last movie KN

Nitya
Just curious,
" and has a very pathetically shaped mouth, that when she smiles also it looks like something else..;-) ", what is the other something ?, more curious what kind of adjective is "pathetically shaped" for a body part

 
At 10:06 PM, Anonymous ram said...

anonymous, "pazha mozhi sonaa anubavikkanum...aaraaya koodaathu!"

 
At 1:17 AM, Blogger Zero said...

Balaji,
Very much thought that ONOK is gonna be crap. Recently caught the much-praised "Varusham 16".. somehow missed it all along. Strictly speaking I will call it a mediocre effort. The romance of the lead pair was agreeable and all that. But this whole idea of he-sings-she-dances and that very-irksome would-be of khushboo spoilt the whole show beyond any worth for me. The only worthy thing (and a great one at that) was of course IR's score for the movie.
Fazil is one over-rated director, I say. just for that highly-acclaimed Varusham 16.

 
At 4:32 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

ur right abt sonia - she cant act and she looks horrid when she smiles! she has a big mouth!

 
At 2:18 PM, Anonymous ram said...

here's my take on varusham 16, if you guys r interested:
http://www.geocities.com/ram_aishoo/varusham16.htm

 
At 8:50 PM, Blogger Ram.C said...

welcome back, BB.

it is so sad that the movie bombed very badly..

 
At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Maverick said...

Saw Sonia on Sun Music's call-in program on Sunday night. She was abosultely terrible for a Music call-in program.She hardly opened her mouth to talk to the VJ and the viewers who called in. Her tamil should be one of the worst amongst the current stream of Tamil actresses and looks to be very introvert for an actress. After a few calls, Actor Srikanth called up from London and then she finally started smiling and talked to him. Mathapadi, throughout the entire show, she wasn't even facing the camera. Holding a flower bouquet in her hand she was staring down all throughout the show.
Selvaraghavan yeppadi dhaan manaage panraaro? Need to check how good his Selva's English and Hindi!!

 
At 11:20 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

balaji, i've written much more critical reviews. but this is probably my most critical tamil movie review after i started this blog :)

anon, BGM didn't really stand out. if it had i would've remembered it and mentioned it i think :)

zero, i remember liking 'varusham 16' at that time. might've aged though.

ramc, thanx!

mav, she has the least expressive face among current actresses. so no surprise in her being introverted. doesn't look like she's got a lotta fans here either!

 
At 2:22 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Hi Bala, seems you are churning out some nice reviews in here.. Keep it going..
ONOK spoilt my Oru Naal.. Have been a Fazil supporter (including his last disaster Kannukul Nilavu) but this one really put me off. It was like lifting some themes and images (Khajuraho song sequences) out of English novels (Mills and boon variety) and making a movie trying hard to get across the message, "Love prevails". But confusion prevails throughout the movie until the climax. Comedy - nothing to mention about. Music - A very decent effort, esp considering the quality of movie. Over the top acting by Srikanth, poor lip sync by Sonia, unreal characters and surroundings (cochin being passed off throughout as chennai!!!) lead to one big black spot in fazil's resume.
Wasted dream...

 
At 5:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEY, gud review, i totaly agree with u, the only thing gud waz the songs among which kaatril varum geetame was marvaleos, i say it is the hit of the decade , this is wat illayaraja thinks, even A.R rahman and yesudas shoulders him.but after seeing the filim one wonders, is this the same man who took ever gloriouse hits like"manichitra thazhu,pappayoode....." etc , i think he took this filim bcause he was flopping in malayalam, and bcause he has never flopped in tamil, but he is a great man. suresh (gobi) uncle once told me that fazil is one of the greatest directors ever, buthe is not taking films on his interest, he is just trying to stage a comeback, anyway hope fazil uncle comesbak!!!!

 
At 5:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEY, gud review, i totaly agree with u, the only thing gud waz the songs among which kaatril varum geetame was marvaleos, i say it is the hit of the decade , this is wat illayaraja thinks, even A.R rahman and yesudas shoulders him.but after seeing the filim one wonders, is this the same man who took ever gloriouse hits like"manichitra thazhu,pappayoode....." etc , i think he took this filim bcause he was flopping in malayalam, and bcause he has never flopped in tamil, but he is a great man. suresh (gobi) uncle once told me that fazil is one of the greatest directors ever, buthe is not taking films on his interest, he is just trying to stage a comeback, anyway hope fazil uncle comesbak!!!!

 
At 5:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEY, gud review, i totaly agree with u, the only thing gud waz the songs among which kaatril varum geetame was marvaleos, i say it is the hit of the decade , this is wat illayaraja thinks, even A.R rahman and yesudas shoulders him.but after seeing the filim one wonders, is this the same man who took ever gloriouse hits like"manichitra thazhu,pappayoode....." etc , i think he took this filim bcause he was flopping in malayalam, and bcause he has never flopped in tamil, but he is a great man. suresh (gobi) uncle once told me that fazil is one of the greatest directors ever, buthe is not taking films on his interest, he is just trying to stage a comeback, anyway hope fazil uncle comesbak!!!!

 
At 5:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEY, gud review, i totaly agree with u, the only thing gud waz the songs among which kaatril varum geetame was marvaleos, i say it is the hit of the decade , this is wat illayaraja thinks, even A.R rahman and yesudas shoulders him.but after seeing the filim one wonders, is this the same man who took ever gloriouse hits like"manichitra thazhu,pappayoode....." etc , i think he took this filim bcause he was flopping in malayalam, and bcause he has never flopped in tamil, but he is a great man. suresh (gobi) uncle once told me that fazil is one of the greatest directors ever, buthe is not taking films on his interest, he is just trying to stage a comeback, anyway hope fazil uncle comesbak!!!!

 
At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sonia was amazing....though she has put on weight, she was cool. The climax was neatly run by her. I guess she make an award. However the film was bad , she has done a wonderful job. KEEP IT UP SONIA

 
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At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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