Anyone familiar with Rajesh’s recent filmography would agree with the fact that analyzing them on any grounds of cinematic logic or grammar is more futile than getting yourself a cup of chai with a debit card and a few thousand rupee notes. But then, as my job doesn’t allow the luxury of a witty one-line update, I guess we have to go through this somehow. By now you are either a sleeper-cell fan of his brand (!) of humour or you are the majority who had vowed not to visit the theatres after Azhagu Raja and VSOP… wherever you stand, Kadavul Irukaan Kumaaru, sadly, doesn’t venture to change your mind. The virgin hero (played here by the brand-ambassador GV Prakash) who proudly wears the loser-tag on his sleeve, the side-kick who literally keeps us alive through what seems like days of torture, heroines who almost jump from space into a colourful song, scenes which make you wonder if you have been teleported suddenly into a different screen, a flurry of pop-culture jabs – most drawing a sigh while a few managing a tired half-smile, the rare genuinely hilarious one-liner, the strong seasoning of insensitive jokes, Rajendran in yet another goofy avatar, the climax star-cameo… they all make a return, at the cost of something Rajesh certainly seems to have removed from his dictionary – decently funny writing that doesn’t treat the audience like a deprived bunch who would laugh at anything being thrown at them.
In the name of humour. In the name of entertainment. Well may be, that’s asking a little too much of a film that mounts a sixty minute romantic backstory in the backdrop of church appams and kovil pongal being exchanged. Who actually thinks these things are funny? Or at least watchable? Probably the ones who thought of jokes like “Ponnunga laam enaku aathaa maadiri…. Apa Pasanga?” RJ Balaji tries his best to do damage control with random satire, but with the return of insipid jokes and the feigned irreverence, things soon go beyond redemption. A cringe-worthy parody of a live-show, unending tomfoolery in the name of cop-comedy, a two-timing duet with arguable existential underpinnings featuring Anandhi in the same costume as Nikki but with a sleeve, and endless face-palm moments later, the film lurches into horror-comedy territory with Robo Shankar and Singampuli doing the tango in the company of dangling, face painted co-dancers. Strangely, I laughed out aloud. Was it at the preposterousness of it all? Was it at the anticipation of Prakashraj sincerely trying to act his heart out the very next scene? Or was it just my brain’s way of mocking at me? I didn’t bother to dwell on it much, as it lead to the more relevant question with no answers whatsoever.
When a film-maker is given the luxury of operating outside the usual confines of logical reasoning, aesthetics and political correctness for some crazy, unrestrained fun, why not make the whole exercise in absurdity ‘watchable’, if not mildly interesting?