If you were disappointed with the director’s debut film Vaamanan that borrowed liberally from Nolan’s Following and assorted Hollywood films including Enemy of the State, here’s the good news. I. Ahmed’s Endrendrum Punnagai is fairly original. And every filmmaker who turns over a new leaf needs to be encouraged not to go back to his old ways.

Your fears of watching Saving Silverman in Tamil are soon gone when the writer-director subverts the idea. Three friends (Jiiva, Vinay and Santhanam) make a pact to stay single. If in Saving Silverman, two guys try to save their friend from his new controlling girlfriend, here the two break their pact and try to save their friend from being single all his life.

The first half is largely fun and jokes (some of them are literally well circulated popular jokes) and the film gently breezes along, thanks to the bonding and chemistry between the guys. Vinay makes a decent comeback and Santhanam once again uses his brand of ridicule as humour and manufactures laughs at regular intervals.

The problem with Endrendrum Punnagai is that it takes itself a tad too seriously instead of living up to the title and keeping it light. There’s just too much drama — an accident, a life-threatening illness, ‘hero’ slapping a girl (when will this stop?), hero beating best friend — clichés employed to infuse drama into the sluggish second half that is further burdened with songs.

Jiiva otherwise underplays the role wonderfully. He is, in fact, so subtle that when a character tells him “You can't act, why try?” the entire hall laughed, rather unfairly. It is unfortunate that only loud acting is considered good acting in this part of the world.

It is good to see Trisha, with the voice of Chinmayi, once again play an independent working woman with a mind of her own. The combination works yet again.

The romance is low key and pretty well done, except that this was not the film the first half promised.

Bromance is all about political incorrectness and all those things men do on their own, stuff their families or girlfriends would never approve of.

This one begins as a bromance only to become politically correct to cater to family audiences with elements they connect to — romance and drama.

You just cannot mix drunken revelry and family sentiment in the same film. Unless the mood is fully light. Here, the inconsistency jars.

We can only hope this experiment succeeds at the box office.

Genre: Romance

Director: I. Ahmed

Cast: Jiiva, Trisha, Vinay, Santhanam, Nasser

Storyline: Three friends make a pact to stay single all their lives but...

Bottomline: A bromance comedy slowly disintegrates into romance drama