Sunday, January 22, 2006

Aadhi


On paper, Aadhi seems like Vijay's attempt to expand his fan base. He has tried to reach out to his non-fans (like he did with Sachein) while giving his fans what they want too (which he didn't with Sachein). The result is an action film with no introduction song for Vijay, fewer punchlines and fewer mass songs. Unlike Sivakasi and Madurey, it even has a meaty role for the heroine and is rarely crude and vulgar. But all those things seem to have been replaced by a single thing - violence. And that will likely still keep away his non-fans. And turn away some of his own fans too.

Anjali(Trisha) is a simple college girl on the outside. But her heart carries a lot of pain and hatred and she, along with her uncle(Nasser), is after the men who caused that pain. Aadhi(Vijay), who is living in Delhi with his parents(Manivannan, Seetha) and his sister, moves to Chennai and enrolls in the same college as Anjali. Aadhi and Anjali become friends but unknown to them, there is another tie binding them together.

For a masala film, Aadhi packs a lot of suspense and surprise into the first half. The film starts off on a high note with Trisha's introduction but then settles down as it sows the seeds of the romance and introduces us to Vijay's family. The proceedings seem a little disjoint at places here and its never really clear what kind of feelings Vijay has for Trisha. But the sense of fun in Vijay's family and suspense about Trisha's mission move the film along.

But a surprising, well-picturized twist helps pick up the pace again, while adding some suspense to the mix. It is completely unexpected until it happens, is picturized slickly and makes us sit up and take notice. Another noteworthy point is the intermission break. It is a stunning shot that, though incredibly gory, is a great rush of adrenaline. But eventually, these two turn out to be the only high points in the entire movie.

But the suspense turns out to be far more interesting than the happenings behind it. The unravelling of the suspense eventually makes the story seem like a relic of the 70s or 80s. The only thing missing is a family song to bring together separated members! It also leads to some very silly sentiments being inserted into the romance between Vijay and Trisha.

The second half is an orgy of violence. The body count is high(with some of the people meeting incredibly violent deaths) and blood flows freely. That by itself is not a completely bad thing but the bigger problem is that the pace is still lethargic. A long flashback where we know exactly what is going to happen and interruptions in the form of romance(and the accompanying song sequences) prevent the movie from maintaining a good pace. A couple of sequences, like Vijay's face-to-face meeting with Saikumar, do the job but for the most part, the movie seems to drag. So the violence feels gratuitous and even sickening.

Vijay looks like he actually made an effort to look as unkempt as possible. With a bird's nest of hair on his head that looks dangerously close to being an Afro, a half-grown beard and moustache and a shirt with top buttons unbuttoned, he is rarely presentable. Without a intro song and having only two lacklustre duets, his dancing skills aren't utilized much either. Trisha looks pretty but seems almost inhibited in her performance. Kannada actor Saikumar overacts in every scene and seems to have mistaken loudness for scariness. Same goes for the other sidekicks too. Vivek has a good introduction but fails to impress after that. Vidyasagar is apparently still basking in Chandramukhi's success and fails to come up with a single memorable tune.

17 Comments:

At 1:28 AM, Blogger vee-jay said...

I liked the suspense and the way it unfolds. As you have said, the twist was picturised really well in a way that your mind really starts working the different options - Why why???

The only thing missing is a family song to bring together separated members! Trust me, I was really waiting for that "Kudumba paattu" to unite the separated members :)

 
At 1:42 AM, Blogger skanda said...

the first half of the film was excellent..i enjoyed vivik's comedy and vidyasagar's songs were not bad and were actually quite nice..

I do admit that the violent scenes were terrible..it was even more gory than "Aaru"..i wonder how the censors passed this with a U/A cert...something is wrong somewhere..

 
At 2:46 AM, Anonymous James said...

Everyone knows this would be an action film. If you don't like violence, then you do have the option of not watching. Why spoil the blood lust of action film fans.

 
At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This movie seems to be a remake of a hit Telugu movie 'Athanokkade'.

http://www.idlebrain.com/movie/archive/mr-athanokkade.html

 
At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vijay's losing the plot here - I really enjoyed watching Ghilli and Thirupachi but movies such as Madurei, Sachein and Aadhi are putting him and watching his movies are quite humourous now cos of the silly stories that have been thrown together.

 
At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji - was the chemistry between Vijay and Trisha strong here like it was in Ghilli an Thirupachi?

 
At 10:25 AM, Anonymous ram said...

bb, here's a conversation between my friend and me:

Tinku: Dey, Pongala vechu Pongal padatha pathi sollu daa...

Ram: Hmm, Paramasivan-- Sweet n Low-la Chakra Pongal panna epdi irukkum...apdi irundhudhu...

Aadhi-- sumaaraana Venn Pongal...strangely, kaaram jaasthi, inippu korachal...

Saravana- pona varshathu oosi pona pongal mela *#$ #$#$ madhiri irundhudhu...thaanga mudiyala...

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

I am really surprised that you didn't like Vidyasagar's music. Personally, both Krishna and I really like "Thadukku Thadukku" and "Lelakku Lelakku Lelaa".. It's very catchy to listen to. Just give a listen to the songs one of these days.. you may be surprised!..

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

vee-jay, yep the twist really had me wondering why. but the film failed to capitalize on it after drawing us in so well :)

skanda, true. didnt enjoy vivek's comedy much after the first episode but the non-mass songs were a surprise. and i've stopped trying to understand how the censors work nowadays.

james, its not that i don't like violence per se. just that i don't like it in an otherwise masala film. but even then, i dont mind it if it is paced well. i've always said that i liked 'tiruppaachi's 2nd half, which was just as violent as this one. but here the pace was slow and so the violence seemed gratuitous.

anon, yes it is. the fact was announced even before the movie was started.

anon, wouldnt call this one all that silly :)

anon, not much chance for chemistry since the romance is dealt with rather lightly. but trisha has a meatier role than she did in 'tiruppaachi'.

ram, so u've seen all 3 too? surprisingly i enjoyed 'saravanaa' the most among the 3 :)

sandya, hadn't heard the songs b4 and so that impression was simply from hearing them with the movie. will chk those 2 out...

 
At 3:09 PM, Anonymous ram said...

all on the small screen tho...but i have a nice tv so, it doesnt bother me much...

 
At 9:10 PM, Blogger siva said...

Vijay has gone from best dancer in Tamil to worst dancer in this movie..

 
At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Diversion ahead...

Ram, just went back and read your comment. Wanted to let you know that we officially are in Splenda kaalam. Sweet n Low ellaam malai yeri romba.. romba naal aachchu! :-)..

Splenda-la paNNa chakkarai pongal doesn't sound half bad.. especially since Brown Sugar Splenda (neenga ninaikkira brown sugar illai! :-) is now available, which would be the closest to vellam..

 
At 10:16 AM, Anonymous ram said...

sandhya, aamaam naan sonnadhu periya research pointu! adha neenge dissect pannunge!!

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger மு.கார்த்திகேயன் said...

One strange thing..
Actually SAChandrasekaran Changed his name to SAChandrasekara for this movie..I read that was bcos of some numerology..you can see this in title card of movie also..After bad collection at BO, the recent Ads in Newspapers..have his name as SAChandrasekaran..
Paavam pa..

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger மு.கார்த்திகேயன் said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger ashwin said...

am i the only i or r there ppl out there who hate vijays films.Of late he seems to act in the worst junk which mysteriously become blockbusters.Shows that we cant appreciate good cinema.

 
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