‘Taana’ movie review: This Vaibhav-starrer is a dull and messy affair

‘Taana’: Lacks charm or humour  

Set in Vellore, Taana opens with an animated stretch or a history lesson on the backstory of Taanakaran, who was a guardian angel to the country folks centuries before the Police Department came into existence. It’s an annual ritual to organise festivities in the village to celebrate the glory of Taanakaran, provided there’s at least one serving police officer in Taanakaran’s family. It’s been more than 20 years since the village had festivals, since the last standing police officer had died and his son, Pandiaraj, has been rejected in police recruitment, on the grounds of physical fitness (lack of height).

To reaffirm his kinship and to throw light on the village, Pandiaraj hopes to realise his dream of becoming a cop through his son, Sakthivel (Vaibhav). But his dreams are vanquished when he comes to know of his son’s disorder, when the latter is asked to speak at a school function. We are told that Sakthi has a rather peculiar but completely believable disorder called: puberphonia. I think I blinked a couple of times... not at the mention of the word, but the way it was said. Whenever Sakthi comes remotely close to exertion or anxiety attack, his vocal chords begin to sound like a female. Now imagine a police officer looking all tough and astute, but sounds like a TV serial mom when he opens his mouth. It’s an interesting line to ponder over.

  • Cast: Vaibhav, Nandita Sweta, Yogi Babu and Pandiaraj
  • Director: Yuvraj Subramani
  • Storyline: Sakthivel has to join the police force, to safeguard his family’s lineage. The catch? He has puberphonia

Long before Yuvaraj could even sense a potential in this premise, Ayushmann Kuranna created a genre named after him in Bollywood. But what limits Taana from becoming a moderately engaging movie is the lack of charm and humour — which was evident in the Kuranna brand of evoking laughter from a social taboo, in movies such as Dream Girl, Bala and his upcoming Shubh Mangal Zayada Saavdhan.

It must have been tempting for Yuvaraj to invent absurd scenarios with the protagonist’s perceived disorder, to draw humour from the characters. Even if it’s a little convenient way of handling things, that would have been a far better approach. But Yuvaraj seems to be completely dissociated with his own material that he envisioned in the first place. It begins with the story of a son fulfilling the wishes of his father to become a police officer — something along the lines of Kireedam. But it suddenly shifts gear to establish a physical disorder. When you think Sakthivel’s disorder is going to take centre-stage, you are given a sleeping pill in the form of romance. Then it ventures into a senior police officer’s ego, exposing the corrupt nature of loan sharks. A supporting character is designed to trigger a dramatic point for the hero’s journey. However, there are no signs for this, and her character appears to be written with a shallow understanding of how Tamil cinema’s entertainers work.

If someone were to write a book on the merits of the current Government, it would look as directionless as Taana’s screenplay. Of course, I understand that these events are tied together while being mounted on the backdrop of Taanakaran. The resultant mixture, however, is a mess.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 1:50:54 AM |

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