Oru Oorla Rendu Raja (Two Kings in a Land)
Vemal, Priya Anand, Soori
It is so unfortunate that a profound subject like industrial pollution is trivialised in Kanan’s Oru Oorla Rendu Raja (Two Kings in a Land) through a train of distracting songs and dances as well as mindless buffoonery that is passed off as comedy.
When a young and pretty doctor, Priya (Priya Anand), sees her school friend, played by Vishaka Singh, bleed to death in a factory run by a profit-driven entrepreneur (Nasser), the utter callousness of it all seems apparent. Labourers go deaf, battered by abnormally high decibel levels caused by outdated equipment, and, at other times, develop cancer upon handling corrosive liquids without protective gear. So, Priya files a public interest litigation at the Madras High Court, and while she takes a train to the city to appear for a hearing, she meets two wastrels, Azhagu (Vemal) and Michael (Soori).
While most of the movie has been shot in a train – with it playing both a cupid and a villain (a host of men board to murder Priya) – there are scenes that drag you away for titillating dances (set in scenic spots) and also for a short road journey where Soori pairs with Thambi Ramaiah, a driver in a flashy Audi, to harass us with Tamil cinema’s idea of wit that would not tickle a 10-year old today.
A film that could have been wrapped up in 90 minutes and with an awful lot of power and punch is diverted into all kinds of loop – a little romance thrown in and a couple of fights. Mind you, these interruptions are excrutiatingly irritating.
While a few scenes – for instance the cop on the train waking up to shoot the villains (which, though, reminded me of the policeman in Jolly LLB) and the fights where Azhagu and Michael are not supermen -- impress, there is little else to lift Oru Oorla Rendu Raja from the mess it pollutes itself with.
But yes, Nasser is just terrific (watch that scene in the court) and Anand is wonderfully controlled – and what a blessed relief this is for a Tamil work. However, Singh and Soori are wasted for the nth time. Much like Santhanam, Soori is eternally dumped into inanity. Another quetion is will Singh ever get out of playing such inconsequential roles?