Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Azhagaai Irukkiraai Bayamaai Irukkiradhu

Considering the first efforts of recent cinematographers-turned-directors like Thankar Bachan (Azhagi), Jeeva(12B) and K.V.Anand (Kanaa Kanden) - more the first two than the third though - Vijay Milton had rather large expectations to live up to. But he sticks to safe ground, delivering a regular romance with familiar characters for the most part. But some different touches, in style in the first half and in storyline in the second half, make the film likeable and engaging on the whole.

Mano(Bharath) has come to the city from his village to get his girl Nandhini(Deepu). But the girl of his dreams is in love with Prem(Arunkumar), a cricketer and his goal is to break them up. He finds out that he has a partner-in-crime in Jothi(Mallika Kapoor), who is in love with Prem. So Mano and Jothi set out to separate Prem and Deepu so that their own one-sided romances have a chance of succeeding.

As Bharath and Mallika join hands to break up another romance, the film starts off with an accent on comedy. Their plans are pretty amateurish and it is clear that the director's intention is to make us laugh rather than give us the impression that the two are very serious about their goal. But the fact that each of them wants to separate the couple without their own sweetheart getting hurt in anyway leads to some gentle laughs.

Director Vijay Milton tries to spice up the story with some visual inventiveness in the first half. So we have cartoon characters and thought bubbles adding some variety. AIBI is a soft romance and so these don’t really fit into the tone or mood of the film. But they do offer something different to look at since the story itself is quite clichéd.

But the clichéd story eventually works to AIBI’s advantage. The predictable path the story takes manages to lull us into a sense of complacence before surprising us very effectively. The surprise is handled very well in terms of where it is placed in the film, the build-up, the method of the actual revelation, etc. and succeeds in reenergizing the film. It doesn’t stand up too well to post-mortem analysis since it raises a lot of questions and opens a number of holes but works at that moment.

On one hand we have Arun and Deepu, who are in love. And on the other hand we have Bharath and Mallika, the film’s leads, who are trying to break them up. The eventual pairs are rather clear and so, as the story proceeds, the film seems in imminent danger of its characters falling in and out of love rather quickly and without much reason. That is usually a recipe for unimpressive characters. But the movie moves the screenplay in such a way that the characters remain true to their hearts. So they earn our respect by the time the movie ends.

Bharath is energetic as always, whether he is fooling around or talking about his love. Mallika Kapoor looks a little chubby and like most newcomers, hams it up quite a bit when trying to do comedy. Arunkumar is dignified while Deepu slips into her role quite well. Yuvan Shankar Raja delivers a different soundtrack and there is no regular duet though it is a love story. Odi Vaa…, in both its fast and slow versions, is the pick of the numbers while Kaadhalai… scores points because of its funny picturization. Yuvan’s voice in Kanave Kalaigiradhe… just sounds just as bad when seeing the song sequence on screen.


At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

balaji, thanks for the review, as always very well-written :)

agree with ur observations. felt it cud have used tighter editting - 2.5 hrs or longer for a love story is a little too long i felt!

bharath was really good, mallika was worse than a kindergarden kid in few places...

overall i liked the movie, mostly cuz of bharath, but its too bad it dint fare well at the bo.

'The surprise is handled very well in terms of where it is placed in the film, the build-up, the method of the actual revelation, etc. and succeeds in reenergizing the film.' - cudnt agree with u more! this was like a shock treatment! i was getting tired of the boring song picturization (this song defintely sounds better than how it looks) & i got a sudden jolt!

also, if found the monologue where bharath asks for a job very cute, he seemed so sincere & that was some lengthy line to deliver by-heart!

the dialogues at the end were not too ear-friendly for me & the subtitling was not too good as well, so i'm sure i lost some nuances there... as a result, i dint find mallika's justifications too convincing...

At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

coming to the puzzle part :)

by this -

'It doesn’t stand up too well to post-mortem analysis since it raises a lot of questions and opens a number of holes but works at that moment.'

were you referring to the whole sky-star theory?

At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like an interesting movie...thamizh new year's releases-la the only one i checked out was Pachcha Kudhira and that wasnt a pleasant experience! hopefully tpayale, tpathi and aibi will be more enjoyable...from ur AIBI and tpayale reviews, look like they're definitely watchable at the v. least...
i need a cpl of days to recover from that unpleasant shock which was pacha kudhira...!

At 5:26 AM, Blogger Prasanna said...

balaji,urs is 1 review which talks gud abt the movie. Luks like its a flop here(am not too sure). I vent watched the movie yet.TP and AIBI are 2 movies which are in my list. And Bharath is sure having a gud time these days. Guess hes' improving with every movie.

At 7:05 AM, Blogger Kumari said...

Agree with you BB. Initially I thoght this was a remake of The French Kiss and then the story surprises you completely in the second half. Bharath n Arunkumar definitely delivered. Considering how mature Arunkumar can act, It's really tough luck that he hasn't got any good film offers while his irritating dad seems to be in every other movie :(

And Ram, Pachai Kudhirai was extremely irritating. When i searched for reviews on the net, most sites were talking only about 'Namitha' :(

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kumari, believe it or not, kumudam has given Pacha Kudhira a decent review...almost a mild thumbs-up...being an ardent fan of Parthiban I used to religiously follow Vikatan's "marks" (Housefull: 41, Ivan: 42, Kudaikkull Mazhai: 45). Pacha Kuthira-ku evlo nu yaaraachu solla mudiyuma? coz i dont subscribe to vikatan's online edition.
am curious...!

At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


One of the ways to check is see Dinakaran online newspaper. Nowadays, it is fashionable to have advertisements with the Vikatan mark on it. Saw ads like that for Mercury Pookkal and Thambi for a few weeks together. Doesn't look like AIBI got high enough marks for that kind of advertisement.

Aadhi: 115 days? :-).. Aaththiiiiiiiii! ;-)

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aathi 115 days???????!!!
Paathi thaan paakara madhiri irundhudhu!

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The director has tried to make a bollywood style candy floss film and has succeded in giving us a crap and boring films with no logic and crazy characters.

why does manu try to seperate arun and nandini?
why does arun accept to marry his fan jothi instead of nandini?
Why should mano work as a servent in arun's house?
Why does manu not contact his house earlier and tell that jothi is in love with someone else?
What is need for that bald employee(another crazy character) of arun to become so emotional?
Does arun's dialogue in the climax make sense to anyone here?

How can fascination for your idol be love?Will any mother see a girl and ask her son to go get her?

I can come up with many more questions .But major part of this crap film is off my brain.

Balaji i don't know how an NRI like a crap film like this.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whaz with all u guys and this NRI Crap?
quite a few commentors have been passing remarks like how they couldnt in their wildest dreams think how MBA folks could watch mediocre films or (as with karthik's comment) NRI ppl could appreciate films that arent film extraordinaires?
Okay, I have a Masters degree and I watched Pacha Kudhira? Maybe you should contact my University and seriously discuss the option of stripping away my Masters coz I watched Namitha nearly strip in front of Parthiban!

At 3:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"hams it up quite a bit"??
Well, the restraint of Balaji is well-known, but she went all over the floor trying to make us laugh! :)

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Suganya said...

watched the movie recently... not really bad (at least the climax wasn't the union of jo n mano) considering the relative amount of masala in tamil movies..

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