Long awaited movie. The expectations went up manifold after watching the trailors. Selvaraghavan is one of the few directors whose movies people flock to see just for his skill alone. This movie was no less. Right from the title, it sounded a magnum opus.
Five minutes into the movie, you can feel that.."wow..this looks different". One thing, it didnt seem your normal tamil movie at all. More like an Indiana jones movie. I can boldly put my neck on the block and say that the first half of the movie, is something you would've never seen in entire tamil cinema history. It has THE BEST adventure sequence to have been visualised EVER in a tamil movie. I was simply amazed at that stone henge sequence and the nataraja shadow. It was simply..WOW. That one single scene has so many inbuilt sequences and logic that it was awesome. The cholas creating the hurdle in such a way that you've to be in the shadow of God (Nataraja, Chola's favourite deity) else get swallowed by bottomless pit (quick sand). Simply awesome. Oray hitch enanna..the first half supposedly happens on an island..anga engenthu desert vanthchi?? seri..athu konjam peria island na kooda..they say its in Vietnam. Vietnamla ethunga desertu?? oru vela Selvaragavanum enna mathiri History fan but not so keen with geography nenakren :D
The story is quite interesting and new. Chola dynasty is in shambles..under attack from the Pandyas on the rise. The last heir to the Chola throne,the crown prince, is sent to a far off island (in Vietnam) along with the heirloom of the Pandiya kingdom. To prevent the Pandiyas from following the prince and to safeguard his life, the cholas set, seven deadly traps on the way to the island. There goes a team, headed by Reema sen with Andrea and Karthi and a whole lot of helpers to trace back the lost trail which was originally discovered by Prathap pothen (Andrea's dad) who goes missing on the process. What happens to them? Did they actually found the prince is told with lot of twists and turns.
Karthi, as the coolie, is a delight to watch. He is so original that, for a minute you forget this is only his second movie. He rocks big time. But i feel the title is not quite right. It should've been "Aayirathil oruthi". Yes. The movie belongs to Reema Sen. She is in complete control of the movie and the entire second half belongs to her. Reema sen is so sensuous,erotic and sexy in the movie and is almost like desi Lara croft :) In a movie which is touted as an archeological adventure and she playing that role, Andrea hardly has any scope in the scenes. She looks cute though :) Partiban vara portions where hyped to the core but falls dud.
The movie looses its sheen from few minutes before the interval. The trio of Reema, Karthi and Andrea go mad hearing some high pitched noise and then the story goes a steady downhill, culminating in the stupidest war sequence you would ever imagine. The second half of the movie, i felt, is Selva's tribute to "Ponniyin Selvan". Neria similarities. Reema sen's character suddenly transforms to Nandini from PS and Karthi becomes Vanthiya thevan. The tamil which is being used is a confused mix of chaste and colloquial and half the words you just pick the meaning from context rather than actual meaning. The war crime atrocities and foreign hand being brought in to fight the natives all have an unmistakable Lanka-LTTE backdrop. I think there is too much of a confusion towards the end.
If the first half of the movie is toast of tamil cinema, second half lets one down. But its sheerly for the class audience. Not sure how many can appreciate that kind of story telling. The worst scene was the war portions. Gun totting Indian army men..that too in Vietnam??!!! when did India begin to have an army base in that country? Ila..avangalaam mercenaries..koolipadai..apdina kooda..playing "Apdi podu" song and making the queen dance for that was heights. Partiban has bouts of "kudaikul mazhai" in between and screws up big time. His character, though, is neatly defined. Climaxla when Karthi escapes with the Chola crown prince, Andrea gives one sad look. I think, that mirrors what many felt after seeing the movie. Such a glorious first half and half baked second one.
Inoru kaamedi ennana..first half went for close to 2 hours..second one got over in one hour plus itself!! And looking at the ending..i felt..Selva must've thought, enuff with this movie. Edutha varaikum lets release sort of desperation must have crept in. The ending is so abrupt. Unless there is a sequel in the making (which i really doubt)..it seems unjustified. It looks as if first half was done by a different director and second half by another (probably azhagan perumal..who comes as an army general). The movie has some very gory and violent scenes, reminiscent of 300 and Apocalypto. It rightly deserves an "A" certificate. Extreme violence in some scenes.
Music pathi solliye aaganum. GV, take a bow. Nejamavay he proves to be one jeevi. Second halfla, its his BGM, which keeps you interested in many a place. My favourite song, "maalai neram", has not been included :((( "un mela aasa thaan" song chaancela :) Reema and Andrea..thuli kooda vekka padama nadichirukanga. And karthi also shows no inhibition :) Most of the second half is shot in some cave like place. Athu set peicea..real locationa..kanday pudika mudila. So authentic it looks. Ennathaan pudu pudu song vanthalaum..Vaathiyaaroda "Adho antha paravai" ku thaan major applause.
Overaala solanumna..first 25 oversla 250 for no loss adichitu 300ku all out agara Indian ODI team mathiri iruku. First half mattum pathu thadava paakalam. Skip the latter part. But a brave and glorious effort nevertheless. I wish this movie comes as a novel.
avvvvvvvvv...padatha vida review perusa poochay :D solpa adjust maadi