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Naan Mahan Alla

Director: Suseendran

It is customary to show the demonic activities of villainous groups, so that by the time we loathe them, we not only feel comfortable when the hero stands in front of them; we think it is justifiable to admonish them. 'Nan Mahan Alla' would have had that thread when it was cultivated in the heart of the director. But tamil cinema having ripped that formula and pinched it in to the blood of every moviegoer, novelty is a must; especially if you are back after delivering a quality product like ‘Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu’. What better way to entice the audience, than spell binding them with the audacity of the illicit activities that the gang carries out; more importantly the sheer depth in details of them. But in doing that, Suseendran creates a film which meanders through the life of the hero half heartedly only to heighten the power of the antagonist. Half heartedly because, while even a phone call that one of the antagonist casually makes in the prologue aid to propel the story, there are no such details in the life of the hero. After a certain point in the movie it is evident that the director is inclined towards the antagonists, because while the hero’s life has the stamp of ‘seen it before’, even the scenes that transcends from the hero’s life to the antagonists’ are intellectual. One such example is the ‘crow scene’. To top it when the antagonists arrest us through every movement of theirs, the hero has scenes where he allures a girl with a ‘written for the sake it’ line; he gets a job because he happens to have a friend who is employed; he unravels the mystery of the antagonists because he happens to know the underworld don of Chennai. His trials & tribulations make him a true masala hero, who just for the sake of showing, faces all hardship but easily comes out of them in a jiffy without losing his chivalrousness. Wish we common people are well connected and lucky like him. But then we won’t remain the protagonists of our life.

It is not mainly the imbalance in treatment of the characters that keeps us at bay; the treatment too juggles between tested masala and sheer intelligence. The masala does tickle the funny bone; not to forget the immaturely crafted childish romance, which brings a smile to our face. But those are the fillers, while the crime and revenge sprawl the entirety of the movie. Would the movie have worked if the hero was less of an outsmarting person? We may never know. But how refreshingly unique it would have been, had for once the protagonist (and not the hero) died as a warrior? 


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