This is it. One of the two movies I was looking forward this year is here (The other one OBVIOUSLY being “Dasavatharam”). After having seen V. Priya painful fall from “Kanda Naal Mudhal” to “Kannamoochi Yenada”, I did not want to see another successful debutant taking a hard second step. But “Arai Enn 305-il Kadavul” is a large disappointment from a person who gave the genuinely comic “Imsai Arasan, 23-am Pulikesi“.
Rasu (Santhanam) and Mokkai (‘Ganja’ Karuppu) are two roomies living in a wretched part of the city. Their life follows the highly predictable path of humiliation-humiliation-humiliation. With no consolidated job in hand and a love life that is strictly one-sided, Rasu is left with no other option than to curse his creator. And ho! look who’s here…it’s Him (Prakashraj). With the usual “Still don’t believe I’m god?” conversation followed by some gimmicks, God reveals the source of His power – a completely portable, rechargeable galaxy controller box* (*Batteries not included). Our mortals turn green-eyed and steal the galaxy box from God himself!. What follows is their realization that you don’t need superpowers to solve your problems and superpowers don’t solve all your problems.
With an offbeat storyline such as this, what you expect as a follow up to “Imsai Arasan…” is something that is uniquely rib tickling and perhaps even slightly satirical. Not only does “Arai Enn…” fail to maintain a consistent streak of humour but also breaches the thin line between thought-provocation and preaching. The film does intend to create a festive atmosphere with its battalion of characters, but fails to handle them with equal sincerity. As a result, these characters become nothing but props that act as targets to God’s kind deeds. Also, the toying around with the galaxy box goes on for too long, thoroughly hampering the already hurt second half.
Santhanam is not able to emote. You tend to expect a Lollu Sabha punchline (like “Yenna Goinda, nethu rathiri kottaru ashtu full tight pola…”) every time the camera focuses him. Not to mention ‘Ganja’ Karuppu who takes ages to deliver the punchline. Surprisingly, it is the underdogs (Buvana’s mother, ‘Java’ Sundaresan and Mokkai’s nephew) whose performances are commendable. As usual, the heroines (Madhumita and Jyothirmayee) are punctual for their duets and both of them do have an unexpected “twist” at the end.
Vidyasagar‘s score is passable with “Kadhal Sei” being one of the better ones. The biggest technical fall for the movie has to be in the editing department. The first half hour has scenes where you are left puzzled about what’s going on and the meddling around with the galaxy box comes way too late in the second half. A lot of effort has gone into the special effects and it shows (except for some fleeting shots).
In all, “Arai Enn…” is far from interesting and way too short of the standards set by Chimbudevan‘s debut. The movie takes much liberty in endorsing its views than in providing entertainment throughout. Without doubt, Chimbudevan has ideas that could well save a drowning industry, but those are like fine works of glass. Even if one breaks, it is a great story unfortunately wasted. Chimbudevan has to clean up the remains of “Arai Enn…” and move ahead carefully.