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Upperstall Review


Naan Mahaan Alla


Tamil, Drama, 2010, Color

Cast And Crew

Directed by
Produced by
Art Direction

Jeeva (Karthi) is a happy-go-lucky middle-class youth not doing anything with his life. At a friend's wedding, he meets and falls in love with the bride's friend, Priya (Kajal Aggarwal), who also falls for him. He approaches Priya's dad for her hand in marriage and naturally the latter is none too happy about it. Jeeva takes a job as a collection agent but is none too good at it and loses his job. With great difficulty, he persuades his boss to give him another chance. Meanwhile, a young gang of no-gooders accost lovers and kill them brutally. They are given a ride by Jeeva's father (Jayaprakash), a taxi driver, once when they are supposedly helping a young couple elope. They kill the couple and the cut up bodies are found in a garbage dump by the police. Realising that the taxi driver could identify them, they attempt to kill him but he escapes. He recovers and testifies against them. They kill him this time. Jeeva, shattered at his father's death, takes the law into his own hands and takes revenge...

After Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu (2009), one looked forward to director Suseendhiran's second film. But unfortunately, though he shows he is quite in control of his craft, and one has to commend the technical department of the film, one really wishes the film had a better story and script. Naan Mahaan Alla suffers from a formulaic revenge tale even if well told.

That said, Suseendhiran keeps the film on a firm footing for most of the way. He tries to stick to his story and thankfully does away with unwanted songs and typical comedy tracks. The lighter moments of Jeeva with his friends, family and Priya are also well integrated into the film's main storyline. The scenes of Jeeva's family are nicely handled and bring a smile to your face. The film manages to switch over to its serious mode in the second half smoothly enough with a couple of the chase sequences extremely well handled. The song after the father's death also has it emotional impact as Jeeva remembers moments with him.

However, the script has its share of problems. Practically nothing happens in the lighter first half and even here, one wishes the Jeeva-Priya love story development was handled better. It's cute enough but just about and happens much too easily. Even the attempt on Jeeva's father's life comes at a time when you feel that the filmmaker has suddenly woken up that the interval is approaching so think of a thrill now. On top of that the interval point is weak. The second half, which is naturally more serious, sees Priya vanish totally from the film making you feel even more that the romantic track has been treated functionally as a necessary evil and little more with her character not even integrated into the main storyline. The final climax fight goes totally against the grain of the rest of the film and the end where Jeeva buries the four no-gooders alive just leaves you dumbfounded. How can one encourage a normal middle-class man into taking the law into his own hand and doing this? This, in a film that treats its story in a 'real' manner. To top it all, the film abrubtly ends here.

The film is Karthi's all the way and he is adequate enough. His lighter sequences are overplayed in some scenes and in many moments, he still seems to be the same crass rogue he was in Paruthiveeran. This seems to be a ghost he is unable to shake off, no matter what the role he plays. It is something he must address immediately. Still, he makes the most of the moments the script gives him but is unable to rise above the story where the script does not help him. All in all, he is decent enough. Kajal Aggarwal has nothing to do except be perky and cute and that she manages. Jayaprakash scores as the father while the rest of the cast is supportive enough.

The technicalities lift the film several notches be it the camerawork, editing and especially the production design. Locations are well utilised and give the film a distinctive look. The music gels well with the film and among the songs, Iragai Pole is well composed and nicely picturised as well.

All in all, the film is watchable enough but one expected something better and more original storywise from Suseendhiran.

Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan

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