Review: Engeyum Kaadhal

'Jayam' Ravi and Hansika Motwani explore Paris and one-sided romance in Engeyum Kaadhal.

Billy Wilder is crying in his grave!

Rating: Could we try minus instead of zero?

It’s comforting to know that Engeyum Kaadhal is just 125 minutes long. But, the promise of a romantic comedy is a blow. Engeyum Kaadhal is filled with one-sided romance and plays unfair on our senses. Prabhu Deva thinks he can remake Billy Wilder and make it seem conventional. My question is why he came up with Love in the Afternoon, when Wilder has made better films like The Apartment and Some Like It Hot.

Harris Jayaraj is an auteur indeed. With a 30-minute soundtrack, he occupies 1/4th of the running time. I’m guessing that Prabhu Deva had a soundtrack and then weaved scenes around them. Raju Sundaram appears as the film’s comedian and takes up 20 minutes playing pranks that are ripped off from Mr. Bean. Overall, there’s no originality in Engeyum Kaadhal.

‘Jayam’ Ravi thinks that he can dance. Well, he definitely can. But, what’s with that accent with which he speaks English? He spoke better English in Santhosh Subramaniyam, which was a better film, despite being a remake again! Hansika Motwani’s role of being that troublesome girl, who falls in love with that man from the mirror, seems immature. But, that’s the way rom-com heroines are supposed to appear.

By the way, what is it with playing musical instruments on water?

Engeyum Kaadhal is one film which could have been made better. It has great music to support the story, which however never made it to the ground. 

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Review: Peraanmai

'Jayam' Ravi wields the bow-and-arrow in Peraanmai
'Jayam' Ravi wields the bow-and-arrow in Peraanmai

Chak De India meets Rambo accompanied by five girl scouts. Carry Aspirin in case of a headache.

Peraanmai (No MPAA Rating)

Director: S.P. Jhananathan

Cast: ‘Jayam’ Ravi, Roland Kickinger and five other girls.

Genre: Drama in the first half, action in the second half.

Rating: *

S.P. Jhananathan has a liking for Russian arts. His first film, Iyarkai was based on the Russian poem, White Nights while Peraanmai is based on the 1973 Russian film, The Dawns Here Are Quiet.

When Roland Kickinger calls out ‘kukku kukku’, it becomes the most laughable scene in the film. But, the reason why he does it can be clearly defined as the art of deception. He is deceiving a NCC girl scout to buy his calls and meet her fate in his hands. Peraanmai has a lot of these scenes.

Roland Kickinger wields a Minigun in Peraanmai. Reminds you of the Terminator.
Roland Kickinger wields a Minigun in Peraanmai. Reminds you of the Terminator.

Sitting in the first row of a cinema hall is a unique experience. You get to hear almost all the cheers and catcalls. Probably the best cheer was when Roland Kickinger walked topless, exposing his monster abs and Schwarzenegger-like physique. Perhaps, this is the reason why he was chosen as Schwarzenegger’s body double in Terminator: Salvation. He surely is the key factor why I watched the film and yet became another victim.

Peraanmai stars ‘Jayam Ravi’ in probably his first action role out of his brother’s directorial hat. This hat being donned by S.P. Jhananathan is certainly the best for Ravi. Being the current generation’s method actor, Ravi has done his best in learning the tribal slang. Well, he does appear in a ‘komanam’ for a comparably longer screen time. Several dialogues have been muted as they harshly criticize the tribally grown Dhuruvan who works as a Forest Ranger. Five NCC girl scouts are selected for intense training in the shallow forests. One of them stumbles upon a group of foreign mercenaries who are planning to stop an Indian satellite launch. Foiling the plans of the mercenaries is the group of five courageous girls led by an enthusiastic ‘aiming to be the next action hero’ Ravi.

These five girls ‘HATE’ the tribal Ravi and decide to bump him off the records. But, Ravi’s controlled behavior is certainly stunning. It gets irritating that the Censor Board have muted the dialogues which may explain half of their anger towards the tribal folks.

Ravi vs. Kickinger
Ravi vs. Kickinger

When your expectations begin to dampen, director S.P. Jhananathan brings on the anticipated ‘Ravi vs. Kickinger’ fight. The most amazing thing is that people carry huge guns and keep firing in open air. In the end, they run out of bullets and hence, kill each other by means of hand combat. Peraanmai is the xerox of a perfect action thriller which could have  made a significance but a badly written screenplay pulls down the speed.

Cinematography is certainly the eye of attraction while editing proves to be the biggest muck up of the day. Specifically, when the homing scout is caught in a mud lake which eventually swallows her, a man next to me shouted – Is the editor sleeping? Vidyasagar’s BGM is a well composed one. However, the songs could have been avoided in the film as it certainly brings the film to cruising speed. Once again, Vadivelu proves to be the only potential in the film.

Peraanmai is a commercialized action flick. I suggest you to sleep during the first half and watch the second because all the action you wanted is in the second half. But, don’t call it original and path breaking.