Why are we so afraid to make comedies? We make dramas with a comedy track, or action films with a comedy track, or romances with a comedy track – but why so few pure comedies, where the comedy track is the only thing? Balle Vellaiya Theva – after Jackson Durai , this is the second film this year to take a name from the characters of Veera Pandiya Kattabomman – is being advertised as a rural comedy, and it has potential. Kovai Sarala (shrill as always) plays “Selfie” Kathayi, who cannot stay away from her smartphone. Then we have the journalist from the local TV channel, who, desperate for news, reports on carrom board games and people queuing up to buy meat. You even have M Sasikumar’s dancing.
But the writer-director, P Solai Prakash, keeps veering into a bland love story (the heroine is Tanya, and her character says no-no-no until she says yes-yes-yes), and the hero’s blander conflict with powerful villagers over his cable TV business. There’s no effort in any department of filmmaking, and we’re just left with the sight of M Sasikumar angling for an easy B/C-centre hit. No one can grudge him that, and not every film can be a Subramaniyapuram , but is a little quality control too much to expect?