Cast: Vadivelu, Nasser, Manorama, Nagesh, Veneeradai Murthy, V.S.Raghavan, M.N.Rajaam
Gist: The story is set in 1700â€™s. Freedom fever is catching on. Manorama, queen of a small territory, gives birth to twins. Nasser, Manoramaâ€™s brother decides to kill one child because it is easier to control one child and it is his only chance to rule the kingdom from the shadow. The other twin is not actually killed, but is rescued by Veneeradai Murthy and M.N.Rajaam. The twin in the palace grows up to be the prodigal king with no morals. The other twin grows up to honest and responsible. In a hunting accident, the twins switch places. All the bad deeds are undone, Nasserâ€™s wicked plot exposed and the twins reunite.
My 2 cents: First of all Vadivelu deserves a big congrats, for his hilarious performance and also for choosing a lead role that fits him well. Many a comedy actors have suffered a serious set back to their careers because of their ambition to act as a hero. Vadivelu has done well by remembering the lessons from other comedianâ€™s lives while picking this role. He has done his best to differentiate the twins with body language and dialogue delivery. Pulikesi, the bad twin, invokes laughter with his mustache, eccentric habits, the relaxed way he sits on the throne with one leg hanging down and one leg on the throne, other mannerisms and the assortment of punishments he lavishly dishes out. As the good twin Ukirabuthan, a University of Nalanda grad, he plays it cool, level headed and imitates M.G.R in his intro song.
Director SimbuDevanâ€™s debut deserves every star it has earned. He has kept the laughter flowing both with and without dialogues. Address outside the fort showing a old #, new # and future number#, dialogue box pointing to the lizard, â€œ24 hr service boardâ€ outside the harem, posters that say â€œapppidi poduâ€ in the jadhi sandai stadium, the shots the chief minister takes against Vadivelu, the guards runnig away from Vadivelu when he quizzes them, the way the guards come rushing to the king only in the haremâ€¦.the list of funnies is endless!
I also loved the way the characters were named – the chubby thalapadhi is called Agandamuthu, the man of the match in the jaadhi sandai is called Sachin-danandam, the poet is called Veerbadhra Olandi, etc. BTW, Olandiâ€™s poem and the explanation he gives for it is a perfect example for â€œYidakkaradakkal(sarcasam)â€.
Its not just funny stuff all the way, the director takes a jab at the current social and political issues â€“ how mom and pop beverage industries are getting killed by coke and pepsi, celebrity endorsements, cast clashes, child labor, police/government getting bribes, supplying inferior quality weapons to the armyâ€¦etc. This is kind of a double edged sword. The way he ridicules these issues is laughable. But when Ukirabuthan deals with these issues he takes a serious tone. This looks a tad bit out of place in a comedy movie.
Verdict: Healthy humor for all ages.