Film: Naiyaandi (Ridicule)
Direction: A. Sarkunam
Cast: Dhanush, Nazriya Nazim
Running time: 158 minutes
At 158 minutes, A. Sarkunam’s Naiyaandi is a silly romp through school-boyish pranks, juvenile romantic inclinations, choreographed fights and a yawn of a story. If the film has been panned critically, its popular appeal too appears limited. Two families which sat beside me and watched Naiyaandi were heard loudly grumbling about the “crass stupidity” of it all.
If at all the movie held some attraction, it was only because of Dhanush, who, though unfortunately, appears short on range. Over the years that I have seen him, he has hardly changed his mannerisms (some of them copied from superstar father-in-law Rajnikanth), often playing the underdog dreaming of that “dream girl”. And often getting her too.
In Naiyaandi, he has a peculiar name, Chinna Vandu (Tiny Bug) and sports the most bizarre costumes in colours that kill even a modicum of aesthetics. To boot, he hides behind dark glasses. I wonder who his costume designer was. There is more, Chinna Vandu chases Vana Roja (Forest Rose). If this is what passes off for wit and humour, it merely conveys the depths to which some Tamil movies have sunk.
Naiyaandi cannot even boast of a strong plot. The youngest of three bachelor brothers, Mr Bug causes envy in the other two, past their so-called marriageable age, when he bags Miss Rose after “antics’, hardly unlikely to floor any modern girl.
But Sarkunam, who has penned the story and screenplay, is all set to direct the love affair in a singularly predictable manner and through hard-to-believe situations. The rich girl runs away from her engagement to a villain, from her wealthy father to a “heart-of-gold” guy and his modest abode. The rest of the reels push us into a tizzy terrain where the hero fights with his bare fists the baddie and his cronies. Finally a fairy tale climax, but what else.
Oh, yes, Naiyaandi punctuates its narrative with dream sequences when Vandu and Roja are magically waved into the most alluring of locales abroad. They sing and dance, and have white skinned men and women to waltz along to unimpressive music. Do they call this relief? Do they call this entertainment?
See Naiyaandi if you must, but leave your thinking cap at home.
Dhanush meets and greets (HT Photo)