Sensibly, K. S. Manikandan, the maker, acknowledges in the titles that the subject of Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya (U) is a straight lift from Bhagyaraj’s Indru Poi Naalai Vaa. But very cleverly he doesn’t own up that many of the scenes and most of the characters are also completely Bhagyaraj’s brainchild. It is only in the climax of KLTA that you see a couple of differences.

The premise of three or four men trying to woo the same girl wasn’t exactly new even when Bhagyaraj attempted it. Uththaravindri Ullae Vaa, the four-decade old laugh riot from the stable of Chitralaya Gopu was based on the theme. And like in that film, KLTA also has a middle-aged pining lover in the group. Maali tickled the funny bone in UUV. Sadly ‘Power Star’ Srinivasan, as he calls himself, who plays a similar role has miles to travel in performance.

Borrowing ideas freely from old films, Manikandan has created KLTA. And as it is funny for the most part, you tend to overlook the plagiaristic moves. But making Srinivasan an object of fun ever too often isn’t in good taste.

Santhanam takes his first step into film production with KLTA and has crossed a lot of hurdles before reaching it to the cinemas. What matters is that he has astutely opted for a time-tested story and with Manikandan’s adeptness at remoulding the line to suit the present-day milieu, has ensured for himself a decent berth at the BO.

Bringing in a popular hero (STR) in a guest appearance along with Gautham Menon is another clever move.

Dialogue, Santhanam style, generally includes the stench of toilet humour and some crass entendres. KLTA isn’t devoid of them either. But Manikandan keeps it minimal.

‘Power Star’ S. Srinivasan’s claim to fame is his ability to keep people in splits — whether they laugh at him or with him seems immaterial. The ploy (!) has begun to pay dividends. Understanding this psyche of the audience, director Manikandan makes ‘Power’ the butt of his jokes, and the crowd goes delirious with laughter.

For hero Sethu, KLTA is his first. He plays Shiva, the aspiring model and yearning lover. Just about apt for the role, he could have used the opportunity even better. And Visakha Singh is a fairly good choice.

Teaming up again to offer a few laughs are Kovai Sarala and Devadarshini. But their attempts aren’t a patch on what they achieved in Kanchana. Even minor characters do their bit to enliven audience’s spirits — VTV Ganesh and dance mater Shivashankar, to name two.

Nothing much can be said about Thaman’s music, as most of the tunes are rehashes of old hits.

A light-hearted fun film for the festive season, if you don’t mind the crassness, that is!

Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya

Genre: Comedy

Director: K.S. Manikandan

Cast: Santhanam, Power Star Srinivasan, Sethu, Visakha Singh

Storyline: The age-old comic story of three men falling in love with the same girl.

Bottomline: Double dhamaka for Santhanam