Oram Po may take us into the quintessentially Chennai world of auto racing, sarayam kadais, roadside biryani kadais, barber shops and cheri Tamil, but make no mistake - this movie has been made in the best tradition of Hollywood action buddy flicks. There’s the core friendship between two tough guys, and the thumping music, fast-moving camera work and adrenaline-pumping races of The Fast and the Furious. The difference is that this movie doesn’t take itself seriously at all—everything in Oram Po is resolved with a wink, a quip and a swagger. The result is a slickly made romp of a movie that races along energetically without forsaking authenticity.
Arya plays happy-go-lucky, irresponsible auto-racer Chandru, who along with his beloved auto Lakshmi rules the illegal auto racing circuit in Chennai. His buddy is ace auto mechanic Bigle (Lall), who can soup up autos to ride at speeds of 110 to 130 km/hr. Chandru’s life soon gets complicated—he’s behind on payments for Lakshmi to the seth, he’s falling for Bigle’s mama ponnu, biryani shop belle Rani (Pooja), and Bigle’s arch rival Son of Gun (John Vijay) is just looking for a chance to bring both friends down. There’s also the little matter of two stolen black pearls that have found their way into Chandru’s auto…
This is one of those light hearted, good natured films in which even the bad guys are lovable. The samosa-and-jilebi-eating seth (Yusuf) is quite reasonable, and the colourful, crazy Son of Gun is one of the most fun characters in the movie. Whenever you think the film is going to turn melodramatic, it surprises you by choosing the lighter, fun route, and thank God for that. It still packs an emotional punch though—Chandru’s relationships with Bigle and Rani are very well-drawn and realistic, and you’re rooting for them to succeed all the way.
The strongest points of the movie are some excellent dialogues by Kumar Rajan—they’re genuinely funny and spontaneous, even when the characters are talking dirty— and the high-energy background score, beginning with Blaaze’s title rap song. Arya is terrific as the cocky yet lovable Chandru (the combination of floppy hair, liquid brown eyes and good physique should cement his ‘heartthrob’ status). Pooja looks lovely in minimal make-up and puts in a refreshingly natural performance. John Vijay is just an absolute riot as Son of Gun.
The script isn’t perfect—for example, the crooks who’ve lost the black pearls seem to be willing to wait indefinitely for them, and the ending is rather abrupt. But you’ve just had so much fun all through that it’s hard to care about the odd imperfection. Race variya? You’re guaranteed a fun ride.
Oram Po Genre Action/Comedy
Director Pushkar and Gayatri
Cast Arya, Pooja, Lall, John Vijay
Storyline Chandru and his beloved auto Lakshmi rule the illegal auto racing circuit in the city until trouble comes their way
Bottomline Autos have never been this cool