Before I even begin, I'd like to inform the general populace out there that this was one movie that I was waiting to see for quite a while. And today, I got to see it with my family. Yep... I saw a Selvaraghavan movie with my family!
The first thing I loved about this project was its soundtrack. The songs moved me like few had done before. And so, you can imagine how peeved I was when I saw that most of the songs weren't even in the movie! Songs like 'Maalai Neram', 'Thaai Thindra Mannae', 'Pemmanae' and 'Intha Paathai' were all omitted either entirely or were just a few lines long. Not that it's a big crime... but some of the songs that weren't featured would have made the storyline more gripping if they had been used.
Though the director might try to vehemently deny it, the movie does draw certain elements from some of the Hollywood classics like 'The Raiders of the Lost Ark', 'Mackenna's gold', 'The Myth' and so on... It's not entirely a bad thing... I mean, if it works for the story, it shouldn't matter... right?
The first half of the movie was pretty interesting. The funny and gab-gifted Sugumaran (Karthi) makes up for the lack of a separate comedian with his timing. There are times when it appears like the Director is trying too hard to use as many 'swear' words as he can in a given sentence... and it can be a little uncomfortable listening to all of that when I'm seated in the middle of my parents! But hey! What gives?
Then, there comes the second part of the film...Hmmm... this is where things start to look bleak. The story did have potential... yes... it was a hitherto untried genre... but on screen, it seemed as though the director seemed to have lost interest near the end and didn't know a good way to end the movie.
Reemma Sen has quite an interesting character to portray. And well, she does a good job as far as emoting is concerned. But she needs to pay attention to lip synching if she needs to appear more convincing. I did enjoy the Chaste Tamil that was spoken by the remnant Chola Refugees... almost seemed to give me pangs of nostalgia as to how those ancient times must've been like. Parthiban as the present day Chola king, oblivious to the changes that had happened since the time they settled in that little island, does a marvelous job portraying the savagery and the rawness that is expected out of him. And when he realizes that he'd soon be returning to his homeland, and also when he realizes the treachery that had been played on him, his eyes do all the talking. Mr. Parthiban, I must admit, King Rajendra Chola III would've been proud! But I am afraid, his talents weren't utilized fully.
There are a few things that most people might not understand but selvaraghavan's films were always a little difficult to comprehend by the general public. Ah well...the story transition could've been a little smoother... Heck! The images I had in my mind when I was listening to the songs were much better actually!
I personally like the way Karthi remembers his true destiny. But too bad he's not given enough importance later on. Andrea is just dragged along wherever the other characters go and I must say, she sings better than she acts. Not that it cannot be improved! The final few scenes of the atrocities of War was a little too graphic. But I guess reality isn't exactly cozy and comfy either. It motivated me personally to make sure I do all I can to stop innocent people suffer when countries fight!
Since there's a sequel that even the director accepts to exist, I'm wondering if the screenplay can be made tauter atleast there and if the story ca be salvaged.
*Sigh* if only Selvaraghavan had spent a little more time thinking the story and the scenes through before he shoots them...
I'll give this film a rating of 5 out of 10. And I'm being very generous here!
Selvaraghavan, if only you were in front of me, I'd ask you... "Why? Why not?"