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Updated: March 7, 2013 17:32 IST

Desi Dracula, a damp squib

Malathi Rangarajan
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Naangaam Pirai.
Naangaam Pirai.

But for an apology for a humour track that hangs without cohesion, Naangaam Pirai is mostly a dubbed version of Dracula 2012, the recent Malayalam movie, written and directed by Vinayan. Thankfully, Nasser and Prabhu have given their voices for NP thus making it appear like a Tamil film for audiences here.

The U/A certification is baffling. Be it the gory blood sucking vampire shown in all its hideous close-ups, the sexy damsel performing her puja (!) in the dark forest all alone in the dead of night, the insidious creature who seems more a womaniser than the supposedly ardent lover stalking his girl, or the item number ‘I love you Dracula’ for the benefit of the Devil incarnate, who seduces and sucks the blood of women (blows and bashes are reserved for the men), there’s nothing ‘U’ about Naangaam Pirai. The 3D effect helps enhance the thriller element, but the inept screenplay does little to sustain it.

Acknowledging his source of inspiration — Bram Stoker’s Dracula — Vinayan’s imagination includes all the crass commercial elements of Indian cinema. So this latest Dracula drama abounds in sexy sirens and their gyrations alternated with the usual sharp-nailed, long-tongued, spiky-teethed vampire thirsting for the blood of humans. He’s not like the Dracula in Hollywood films — in typical desi style he dances, romances, enjoys music and is only a little more villainous than our screen villains because he needs to suck the blood from the throats of young girls!

Gaffes are many — characters make their entry and exit without any seeming purpose. It’s unbelievable that Naangaam Pirai has been made by the same director who gave us Kasi! The scenes with Manobala and Ganja Karuppu look more like scenes in a stage play, where the two actors parrot their lines, and there’s the third who blinks without any expression!

The film opens in Romania where a newly married couple on a honeymoon become the victims of a bloodthirsty Dracula. Actually it’s the husband, who asks for trouble, when with his occult powers he sets the fettered vampire free. The purpose beats you!

Whatever the role, Nasser’s spontaneity has always been admirable. And so is Prabhu’s sincerity. Only that their efforts turn ludicrous at points because of Vinayan’s juvenile treatment. The late Thilakan appears in a couple of scenes. It’s sad that Tamil cinema didn’t get to see more of him. Who can forget the cantankerous villain he played to perfection in Vijayakanth’s Shatriyan?

But in Naangaam Pirai, at the end when Thilakan says, ‘Dracula will return’ (a clear warning of a sequel!) you can only groan, ‘Oh! God!’

Genre: Horror

Director: Vinayan

Cast: Prabhu, Nasser, Sudhir, Aryan, Monal Gajjar

Storyline: A vampire breaks its shackles, comes out into the world, creates more vampires and generally wreaks havoc. Can he be destroyed?

Bottomline: Crassness in the name of the occult

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