Nalan Kumarasamy and Gautham Menon deliver what is expected of them in this Tamil anthology, but there’s not much beyond that
Director: Gautham Menon
Cast: Gautham, Amala Paul
Can a man and woman remain just friends for life? 2003 Tamil film Priyamana Thozhi starring Madhavan, Sridevi and Jyothika broached this question in detail, looking into the myriad complications of such friendships. 2021 sees Gautham Menon introspecting this aspect through Aadhi and Meeru, who have been thick friends through college. What happens one day when they are both alone in a relative’s house?
Don’t let your imagination run wild, like Robo Shankar does in the film.
Filled with neat music and visuals, Edhirpaaradha Mutham has everything that you would expect out of a GVM romance and is straight out of the Karthik Dial Seytha Enn universe. There is one long heartwarming stretch when the two meet in the present; their circumstances have changed dramatically, but the way they look at each other hasn’t. This very relatable stretch makes this segment work, as does Amala Paul’s expressions. Gautham the writer of romance is still in good form, but Gautam the actor isn’t. His presence quite doesn’t fit the world. A seasoned actor might have made a huge difference.
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Cast: Megha Akash, Amitash Pradhan
Abortion was the focus of Vijay’s earlier film, Diya, starring Sai Pallavi. Avanum Naanum continues that train of thought in the filmmaker’s head.
What if a girl gets pregnant when she is least expecting it? What does she do? These are questions that Vijay seeks to answer through Avanum Naanum.
But there’s little finesse in the filmmaking or the storyline. Megha tries to salvage things with her performance as Priya, but the melodrama lets the subject down. The staging is old-fashioned, and somehow, it comes across as a film that takes back Tamil cinema to steps it has already climbed over the last decade.
Director: Venkat Prabhu
Cast: Varun, Sangeetha, Sakshi
We have seen gamers in Tamil cinema before. But all those films showcased it as a hobby/profession of the character, with just a few cursory shots of them on the console probably.
Logam gets into the gamers’ world, quite literally. This territory is a new one, and Venkat Prabhu deserves credit for just exploring that area. Can real personalities who are into gaming get so sucked into the world that they feel that it is, at times, better than the universe they really exist in?
Logam starts off interestingly, throwing the spotlight on gamers Adam and Eve. There’s some kind of adrenaline going initially, but that fizzles out as soon as the ‘game’ begins. The surprise twists towards the end must have sounded brilliant on paper, but on screen, they do not have the desired impact. The animation and some cleverly-placed music (by Premgi Amaren) are worth checking out, but Logam on the whole is just about passable.
Director: Nalan Kumarasamy
Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Aditi Balan
Who is Hari Prasath and why does he call VJS often?
Aadal Paadal revolves around the trials of a married man looking for some kind of excitement beyond marriage. Nalan gives his own twist to the scheme of things here that reminds one of some of the fine short films we consumed during lockdown.
Vijay Sethupathi is surprisingly low-key; his dialogue delivery and expressions are measured at most times. Aditi Balan, however, gets in a cracker of a performance and proves that Aruvi was no flash in the pan. Concepts like extra-marital affairs can take either a serious or steamy tone, but to Nalan’s credit, things here are mostly dealt sensitively. He even ensures that the couple has a separate ‘talking space’ in the terrace! A couple of dialogues hit home hard, and the quirky music (by Edwin Louis Viswanath) adds to the flavour.
Kutty Story is currently running in theatres