Cinema

Avan Ivan: Brothers, bravado and a little bit of Bala

riveting climax: Avan Ivan  

Vishal may not have undergone as much physical stress for all his ventures put together as he has for Avan Ivan. Sporting a squint, being effeminate without going overboard and performing the part of the bold and powerful avenger with zeal, Vishal plays a superb knock on the field well-laid out for him by Bala. It must have been a strenuous game for the actor because the cock-eyed look is not make-up wizardry or graphics gimmickry, but a veritable challenge. Vishal looks invincible. Hats off to the actor for an excellent show!

Traversing a light course for the most part, it is only in the last 20 minutes that Avan Ivan (U/A) changes tack, gets serious and transforms into a typical Bala film, with the maker's acumen gushing out in the actions and reactions of the main actors. Suresh Urs' editing enhances the brilliance of the segment. The cuts to the past in the climax that explain the developments in the story are examples.

Aarya is a perfect foil for Vishal — his brash demeanour and genuine affection for his stepbrother come out well in many of the scenes. He deserves appreciation for taking up a role that isn't as heroic as Vishal's and presenting it convincingly.

It's a multi-layered part for G.M. Kumar, as Zamin Thirthapathi. If you empathise with Thirthapathi, the credit goes to Kumar's moving portrayal. It appeals even more because Bala shows him to be a very sensitive person. The brothers look up to him and when he is harmed they aren't going to let the criminal get away.

Ambika goes around with a canaster on her lips, takes a puff or two and talks about downing a drink — so what? The irrelevance irks. Prabha Ramesh, whom you've watched playing heroine in a few films long ago, returns as Aarya's mom. The two women are loud, cantankerous, petty, kind and caring, all at once. Such a combination of attributes is common in the stratum that Bala showcases and hence looks natural.

Heroines Madhushalini and Janani Iyer have little to do.

The latter's eyes are her asset. However naïve the girls are, the two falling for guys whose peccadilloes they are aware of isn't logical. In fact, their lovers' thieving habits only make them smile!

RK is a surprise. And the introduction of a hardcore villain at that point in the narration is forced. The character and its actions are contrived — it is as if Bala desperately needs a baddie at that juncture to take the tale forward!

The gentleness and timidity of sub-inspector Chinnandi is new to Tamil cinema — K. Ramaraj does a neat job of the role.

Scatological exchanges in the name of comedy in Pithamagan were few. You hear much more of the same in Avan Ivan that they get disgusting — the dialogue is S. Ramakrishnan's. And many a time you are able to guess the twists in the line.

Some of the locations remind you of Bala's earlier films, Pithamagan and Naan Kadavul.

‘Super' Subbarayan warrants mention for the intensity of the stunts. And Yuvan's re-recording is a definite plus, but for the climactic sequence, where Vishal's anguished murmurs are drowned in the din.

The intermission leaves you wondering at the frivolousness and facileness of the story that's very much unlike Bala. Nothing much happens in the first hour or so. Thankfully, he makes amends with a riveting climax.

Avan Ivan

Genre: Drama

Cast: Vishal, Aarya, Madhushalini, Janani Iyer

Storyline: When their godfather is harmed the stepbrothers seek revenge…

Bottomline: Watch it, for Vishal.


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Printable version | Jul 17, 2021 4:30:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/avan-ivan-brothers-bravado-and-a-little-bit-of-bala/article2115518.ece

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