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‘100% Kadhal’ movie review: 90 percent horror, 10 percent comedy

‘100% Kadhal’: GV Prakash and Shalini Pandey star in this unbearable ‘comedy’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Spoilers ahead...

A man in his wedding attire walks into a bar and orders a glass of whisky. The bartender puts a condescending look and asks him what’s wrong, while the soup boys inside the bar make post-marriage-life-goes-for-a-toss jokes. The man in question is Balu Mahendra (GV Prakash Kumar). It is irony that GV Prakash’s character is named after a filmmaker who advocated minimalism throughout his life, in a movie that is over-the-top with its scene construction. Balu gulps an entire bottle of whisky (when the alcohol kicks in, the truth comes out, quips a man) — how else do we get a tiresome flashback?

In the flashback portion, Balu is both a nerd and sadist. The latter because he gains pleasure by torturing neighbourhood kids, asking the formula for a + b whole square. The formula is dated — like the director’s worldview. He doesn’t let the kids eat chicken, for he believes that meat causes fatigue and slows the process of lateral thinking. Balu is...chicken about these stuff. We feel sorry for them, but then, kids in Tamil cinema never act their age. So, two minuses make a positive.

Trouble for Balu comes in the form of his cousin Mahalakshmi (Shalini Pandey). He visualises everything around him as numbers and formulas. He introduces the love of his life as “cute-a sirikara quantum physics mathiri...dhavani potta algebra mathiri”. She comes from a village hence, she wears half-saree. Mahalakshmi is charmed by her mama and shows noticeable signs of love and lust, to which he is oblivious to. Poor Balu shuts that door, quoting a passage from Freud’s “infatuation theory”. Balu is so absorbed in studies — to a point of saying that he lives a robot’s life. But his system gets a reboot when he secretly looks at Mahalakshmi’s navel when she’s asleep. He takes a brief look at it and wonders aloud if the person who invented the shape of circle was gazing at a navel.

100% Kadhal
  • Cast: GV Prakash Kumar, Shalini Pandey, Nasser and Jayachitra
  • Director: MM Chandramouli
  • Storyline: Balu Mahendra and Mahalakshmi resist from falling in love. When they do, it’s chaos for both their families

Mahalakshmi doesn’t chide him, nor does she school him for being a creep. She does something interesting instead — calling it “infatuation”. Hmm, the last time we checked, it was called: ogling. But 100% Kadhal does give you the benefit of the doubt since it’s advertised as a family entertainer.

The escalation point in Balu-Maha’s love story happens when their college mate, Ajay, tops the batch. Until then, the fight over the first place was between Balu and Mahalakshmi. The duo sets aside their differences and orchestrate a plan — that Mahalakshmi seduce Ajay so that the competition would hark back to the two again. They bond over computer science books, but come out of the Architecture department! What miracle, we wonder. Balu gets his ego pricked when Mahalakshmi, inadvertently, says, “Ajay is the best.” This later turns into a family feud, urging her to storm out of the house. We believe it is the end, but unfortunately it’s just the interval.

They meet months later. They are more mature now. He wears formal shirts and Mahalakshmi is dressed in business casual. Their families decide to get them married. Here is a twist; Mahalakshmi gets engaged to Ajay, and Balu to a random woman who appears to have been kidnapped from a late night party. In the meantime, Balu and Maha role-play as Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol (DDLJ and KKHH fans, we sympathise with you) as they head to their estranged grandfather’s (Nasser) house, to invite him for the wedding. They break into a celebratory mode, grooving to an item song that has lyrics something like this: “Can I borrow your mama for a one night stand?” When they return to Chennai, the two team up to save a software company from bankruptcy. In the due course, they realise the undying love they have for each other.

The above text is not a work of fiction, and I solemnly swear that these are observations made by a pained reviewer. I am not sure what is more depressing — an unwatchable GV Prakash-starrer or having discovered midway through 100% Kadhal that I had seen the Telugu original and it was deja vu all over again.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2021 9:07:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/100-kadhal-movie-review-90-percent-horror-10-percent-comedy/article29594274.ece

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