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Idhu Namma Aalu – Intentional Neurotoxic Act

June 6, 2016 by Guest Author

Not a review per se, just a coherent rant about this film I watched recently called Idhu Namma Aalu.

When I exited the theatre after watching Idhu Namma Aalu, I wondered if there’s a word exclusive to the world of Kollywood films, to point out that the film had its fun moments for a few minutes, and for the rest of the time you wished you had every strand of hair pulled off from your skin or be stabbed like Jon Snow. Why don’t they put statutory warning messages ahead of such films?

Let me be the first one to try and coin a term/reference metric that refers to any motion feature which is worth just ten minutes of your time and you are better off watching it on YouTube, as a video titled “Best comedy scene from ….” instead of experiencing an ordeal in the theatre.

*thinks*

INA!

The term is INA- an acronym that stands for Intentional Neurotoxic Act (‘Intentional’ being the operative word.)Fitting, isn’t it? I hope, in the near future we see people use this term widely.

Macha! How was the movie da?” “It’s not bad. But it’s INA. Better to stay away.

Idhu Namma Aalu

Idhu Namma Aalu (INA) begins as a glossy cosmopolitan flick and then intentionally implodes after the interval. Post-interval, the writing is plain, lacks purpose and larruping stupid. For forty five minutes in the second half you are made to watch Simbu and Nayantara have cringeworthy conversations over cell phones that is straight out of ‘Being Single memes’. It’s refined diarrhea ladled into your ears. These are dialogues one should not rehearse even when they have a pistol pointed at them.

Yes, I’m being a bit harsh because INA isn’t the worst film I’ve seen in recent times. That dubious distinction is still shared by Azhar (Hindi), Vaalu, Maatran, Puli and Maan Karate. On the other hand, I don’t want to pay money to watch a film that is actually a SWOT analysis of Simbu. I never thought the cute card made of chart paper that kids get in primary school called the ‘good conduct’ certificate would become a plot of a 137 minute film.

INA is, produced by T. Rajendhar, where the entire family aims to ejaculate the successful traits of their son all over the faces of his fiercest critics like some form of viscous retaliation packaged as a colorful entertainer. What’s the need or necessity to make a film that ought to glorify Simbu the person? People who hate him are still going to hate him. Gossip columnists are still going to write their irrelevant furphy pieces that are not worth two cents. One film doesn’t bring about any change.

I am a fan of rom-coms with certain amount of drama infused and I am a fan of movies inspired by real people. Rom-coms are like curd rice and semi- biopics are like Nutella. They are good when consumed separately, but don’t mix them, please?

The constant meta-references and guest appearances in the film had me wondering if this was directed by Venkat Prabhu and made it tough for me to see Shiva the IT professional (the character played by Simbu) on screen because it seemed like every anecdote on screen, referred to someone from the actor’s controversial life.

To acknowledge a film, that has Simbu, Nayantara and Andrea, as one of Soori’s better movies should give you an idea as to who makes the film tolerable. I still think Soori is like Vaidvelu without comic sense and he always tries too hard. The fact that Pandiraj has made him endurable on screen is a huge achievement.  Soori seems to be the guy who wasn’t supposed to be a comedian, but he somehow slipped through the pores of the casting directors’ sieve and Tamil audience were like, “ok whatever.”

The one liners, the meta-jabs and friendly banters were hilarious but if I looked just for that, I’d rather watch stand-up shows or re-runs of Kalakka Povadhu Yaaru. The director seems to have been in a clear, breezy mood while scripting the first half and then became a mugwump.

I do applaud director Pandiraj’s desire to make a cool, urbane flick which has been predominantly a Mani Ratnam/ Gautam Menon territory. Having said that, he quite doesn’t grasp the language or the ethos of making such a slick, youthful film. All his films so far, more or less wriggles out a ‘message’. The film starts with a commentary on our armchair activism and how socially agnostic we have become as a society and then focuses on our dependency on smart phones. You can’t help but think if the director was making a scathing observation and slyly passing a non-subtle judgement of today’s relationships which revolves around gadgets and apps, rather than people.

With a title that sounds so confident and triggers a sense of personal affiliation, I wish Idhu Namma Aalu was a film about two families fighting for their rightful potato bought via Bigbasket, than about Nayantara repeatedly calling Simbu as Ammukutti and Bujjukutti, slashing wrists and getting married three times to each other.

– Ashwath Ram