Obviously it’s about love and the foibles, follies and frustrations that go with it. But at the end Suseenthiran’s Aadhalaal Kaadhal Seiveer (U) has an interesting perspective presented effectively — a perspective that you would generally not think of. It’s on this climactic pillar that the entire film stands, firm and imposing. Otherwise till the midpoint AKS is just another tale of infatuation that goes awry after the initial attraction wears out.
Incidentally, the subtlety and relevance behind the title warrants appreciation. Earlier, Suseenthiran had named his film with Karthi, Naan Mahaan Alla, a title borrowed from Rajnikanth’s super hit of the 1980s. And it was justified too. This time he seems to have been inspired by Tamil writer Sujatha’s novel, Aadhalinaal Kaadhal Seiveer , where again the pivot is love. However, the similarities end there. Before you watched the film, you couldn’t help wonder why Suseenthiran plumped for the well-known title, of course with a slight variation. You understand now.
Nearly two years after Rajapaatai, Suseenthiran bounces back with AKS that has a neatly told story and a finale that touches an interesting emotional acme. You have watched such incidents on screen, Thalapathi, to name one. But they always came together with trauma, guilt and other finer feelings. Times have changed. AKS is about some of our youngsters who seem to be slightly self-centred, bold and mentally hard as nails to allow anything to come in the way of their choices. And Suseenthiran’s plausible approach to the line makes the narration different and interesting. The film isn’t protracted by contrived interpolations and hence the screenplay is crisp and to the point till the end. AKS’s length is another appreciable aspect — the film’s running time is just about an hour and 50 minutes.
Topping the list of other highlights is Yuvan Shankar Raja’s score. The songs have been chartbusters for quite a while. Now you notice his RR beautifully enhancing the mood of the sequences. Yugabharathi’s title lyric is very engaging and Vaalee’s words for the ‘Thappu Thanda’ number are incredible! How could the octogenarian verse writer have thought on such youthful lines till the end?
Manisha Yadav, the heroine, returns to make a mark in another meaningful film after her debut in Vazhakku Enn 18/9. Hero Santhosh has a long way to go, but at least he is spontaneous. He may look the part, yet you expect a protagonist to show some spark.
Even in Kaadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi Arjun’s role drew attention. As the hero’s friend he has a more significant presence in AKS and utilises the scope it offers, well. Underplay is Jayaprakash’s forte and he proves it yet again. It’s a poignant portrayal from him — he plays the distressed dad of the heroine. Thulasi displays various facets of the character with ease and her potential comes to the fore when she turns into a vociferous housewife who is unable to handle the crisis with calm. But was an actor of Poornima Bhagyaraj’s stature necessary for a character that has very little screen space and even lesser scope?
None of Suseenthiran’s smaller ventures — Vennila Kabaddi Kuzhu or Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai — have let him down. Neither will Aadhalaal Kaadhal Seiveer!
Cast: Santhosh, Manisha Yadav, Jayaprakash, Thulasi, Poornima Bhagyaraj, Arjun
Storyline: What begins as a harmless love affair turns out to be a huge problem for the pair.
Bottomline: An emotion-filled climax that’s unexpected!