Tamiluku En Ondrai Aluthavum
Direction: Ramprakash Rayappa
Cast: Nakul, Attakathi Dinesh, Satish, Bindu Madhavi, Aishwarya Dutta
A superbly refreshing plot about how a solar flareup impedes mobile telephone services pushes Tamiluku En Ondrai Aluthavum (Press One For Tamil) into the realm of good cinema. First-time director and writer, Ramprakash Rayappa weaves four different stories into what threatens to spin into a tragedy.
Set in the course of a day in Chennai, we have a terrorist who plants a bomb in a call taxi whose driver, Raja (Satish), is busy wooing the one girl who flips for him. As the explosive is about to go off, the flareup hits cellular airwaves, and the extremist cannot ignite the remote-controlled device with the help of his mobile instrument.
At another end of the city, real-estate dealer Mukil (Attakathi Dinesh) cannot find his lover, Simmi (Bindu Madhavi)--who is trapped under a debris on a construction site with a huge stone about to crush her out of existence.
Oblivious of all these disasters set to strike, Vasanth (Nakul)--a take-off on the Aamir Khan character in Three Idiots--is a technological wizard who is on his house terrace trying to sort out the knotty airwaves problem. Watching him both in awe and fear are two executives of the mobile company hit by the natural catastrophe.
Though Rayappa does tie up the different strands of the narrative with admirable neatness, the film is low on excitement. The movie describes itself as a thriller, but there is very little of that nail-biting feeling associated with this genre.
And, of course, we have seen how the 2006 Babel, an American-Mexican-French drama, took us through several riveting plots before tossing up a marvellous climax. Tamiluku En Ondrai Aluthavum is certainly not as exhilarating as Babel was.
Besides, one of Rayappa's tales is very week; if Mukil and Simi fail to light the romantic fire, their meeting itself is silly.
Rayappa is also saddled with unimpressive actors. Except for Urvashi (who is remarkable as Vasanth's unlettered but high-on-scientific-info mother) and Satish (terrifically convincing), the rest of the performing team appear to lack the kind of energy essential for an adventure of this sort.