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!