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Upperstall Review


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Tamil, Action, Drama, 2009, Color

Cast And Crew

Aadhavan (Suriya) is a cold-blooded contract killer who has no qualms about his profession. His adopted father (Shayaji Shinde) makes a deal with Reddy (Rahul Dev) to kill a Magistrate. The reason being that Reddy is involved in a multi-crore scam wherein he sold the organs of small children and murdered them and the Magistrate is to pronounce judgement on this which would surely land him in jail. The plan is to kill the Magistrate when he is on holiday with his family at Kolkata. Aadhavan tries but misses and vows not to rest till he kills him. He enters the house in the guise of the cook Banerjee's (Vadivel) would-be brother-in-law Murugan. The Magistrate Subramaniam ( Murali) is a strict disciplinarian and the house is prim and proper when he is around and all fun and gaiety when he is not. Thara (Nayanthara) is the niece of the Magistrate and becomes the love interest of Aadhavan. Since things do not seem to progress, Reddy sends Banerjee's brother-in-law whom he had kept in captivity to the Magistrate's home to break the secret that Aadhavan is a killer. On hearing this, Aadhavan takes the Magistrate hostage to escape and makes Thara drive the car to an undisclosed destination. The Magistrate receives a phone call revealing that Aadhvan is actually his long-lost son who had run away from home as a child. Before the happy reunion can sink in, the villains turn up and the climax sees Aadhavan taking his father safely to court to pronounce judgement.

The opening of Aadhavan makes you look forward to a nail-biting thriller as you have the goons and the guns in good measure. However, as it progresses, the pace slows down and the screenplay meanders as the comedy and the happy-joint-family scenes detract from the main plot.

The story seems to have bits and pieces put together from yesteryear blockbusters, while the backdrop is the only change as the film is set in Kolkata. And even that, the camera never allows us to forget that fact with innumerable shots of the Howrah Bridge! The director KS Ravikumar, who has delivered many trendsetting blockbusters, has tried to bring in the perfect commercial cocktail of romance, action, family sentiment and comedy. He succeeds to some extent in terms of entertaining you in places but that's about it as the film fails to rise above being an average 'masala mix.'

The film, like Ayan earlier this year, sees Suriya experiment with various get ups. Not all of it works. Suriya gets an entrance where he plays a mouth organ and turns around to face the audience, but you feel a sense of deja vu as this is an unmistakably Rajini piece. The big tommed tommed scene - Suriya as a 10 year old, which was promised to be the highlight of the film, sadly falls flat since the graphics look artificial. Among other things, Suriya even acts out the evergreen MGR song Naan Aanayittal, mimicking MGR perfectly. Unfortunately, he also has to perform unbelievable action stunts, a la Rajini and you watch disbelievingly as he jumps from building to building metres apart and from the ground to a helicopter many feet up in the air!

However, there are places where Suriya still shines in his own style as we like him! During one instance, after he misses killing the judge, a furious Rahul Dev storms in and demands an explanation, he fires indiscriminately and initially Suriya stays composed amidst smoking guns. What follows is a confrontation scene with Rahul Dev where Suriya excels with his blazing eyes and aggressive body language as he shouts at Rahul and storms out. Despite being physically smaller, Suriya dominates the towering hefty villain in this scene by his sheer acting prowess. The film needed more scenes like this for him and one has to say that for all his different looks, the film fails to properly utilize Suriya's brilliant acting talent.

Of the rest of the cast, Nayanthara is adequate as the bubbly girl who livens up the proceedings and provides the customary glamour element in the song and dance sequences. Vadivelu shares plenty of screen space with Suriya and to his credit, does provide the film with many of its rib-tickling moments. However, the comedy also weakens the characterization of Suriya as a ruthless cold-blooded killer, in fact, there are not many scenes to support this premise. Veteran B Saroja Devi returns to the screen after a long break but is wasted.

Hassili Fissili is a catchy song but the rest are average and lack the characteristic zing one expects in Harris Jayaraj's music. Some of the editing scenes by Don Max especially in the beginning are noteworthy as they add to the racy feel of the film. Cinematography by R Ganesh is passable.

All in all, strictly average fare and to be honest, even disappointing since, from a Suriya starrer you always expect that something extra. Aadhavan is not it.

Upperstall review by: DayaKingston

Come Diwali and the biggest release in Kollywood is this Suriya-Nayanthara starrer, rumoured to have been sold at Rs. 40 crore, an all time high for a Suriya film. We catch up with the star and superhit director KS Ravikumar.

Suriya starts off by saying, “I have always wanted to work with KS Ravikumar, he's a director who is really young at heart. Initially, I was a little tensed about working with him as I wondered if I could satisfy him but actually working with him was easy. I learnt a lot from him, I have this tendency to deliver dialogues in a fast stream, he taught me to slow down. I was with him even at the film's script stage and amazed at the amount of effort he put in. We heard about 10 to 15 scripts before finally picking this Ramesh Khanna script. To me, every film must have a different colour and there must be no repeat."

On his character, Suriya elaborates, "I play the role of an assassin from Calcutta and the film is his life story. However, this will be a family entertainer and the stills may have me with a gun but let me assure you that there is no blood or gory scenes in the film. You can expect plenty of action-packed sequences. And of course, Vadivelu's comedy will have you in splits. The film has been made in a way that repeat audiences will still find something to enjoy."

Continuing, he says, "I also play a 10-year old in the film which will be a highlight. This idea just came up casually. We were looking for a child to play this role in the flashback and as we were looking for the right one, the director just said, why don't you do it? We had to work a lot on this to get it right, we shot twice and were not happy. Then we brought in a CG specialist from Mumbai, Govardhan to do the face. This is the first time someone is attempting this, a few others have tried fleeting shots but not something like this with 10-15 minutes of footage."

At this point, director KS Ravikumar chips in, “Suriya did a lot of homework for this role. He watched the mannerisms of 10-year olds and selected one of them whose body language and expressions he closely followed while emoting. He put in a lot of effort to make his voice sound like a child while dubbing as well. Suriya has a passion for cinema and is always trying to do something different. I have worked with many artistes but I think amongst the younger generation he is the number 1. Incidentally, Nayanthara has given a very good performance in the film too."

Suriya feels highly about his co-star Nayanthara too, “She looks far more beautiful in Aadhavan compared to her earlier films. She is a complete professional and though her makeup used to take about 1½ hours, she would be on the sets five minutes before me!"

On veteran actress B Saroja Devi making a comeback, he says, "She is acting in a film after 12 years and she recreated the world of the sets in the sixties for us. She even showed us a lot of the expressions used in dance sequences of yesteryears. She is truly a legend."

As a last word, Suriya says, “The producer Udayanidhi is more like a friend and very involved. He has spared no expense in producing the film and gave us plenty of freedom."

- Daya Kingston

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