January 28, 2011

Aadukalam Film Review

Some films just provide entertainment, some will keep you at the edge of your seats & some will linger in your mind for hours with performances that affect you for days, scenes that you wish you could watch over and over again & music that you can keep humming. Aadukalam does it all. The swashbuckling combo of Vetrimaaran & Dhanush are back together after their much acclaimed dark horse POLLATHAVAN to give us a gutsy, brilliant & realistic film in AADUKALAM.

Aadukalam is a simple story of Pride, Jealously & Ego woven brilliantly together in a realistic way by some brilliant performances. The film starts with a brief on Rooster fights & their emergence & history. And in a typically Vetrimaaran way, we go into a flashback where Pettaikaaran(Jayabalan) is a king of his trade in rooster fights. He is worshiped & helped by Karuppu(Dhanush), who does nothing but this for work and loves an Anglo Indian Irene(Tapsee) & financed by Dorai(Kishore). His foe Ratnasamy(Naren), a police officer whose family is into the tradition of rooster fights tries desperately to win a rooster fight against Pettaikaran but has never succeeded all these years. In one final attempt to win before his ageing mothers death and please her, he imports Bangalorean roosters during a fight which causes a flutter in the Pettaikaran camp. An altercation between Pettaikaaran & Karuppu leads Karuppu to field his Rooster in the ring against Pettaikaran's wish. This makes Pettaikaran angry and he goes to the point of announcing publicly through the mike that he dismembers Karuppu from his group. But, Karuppu's rooster wins the tournament and he becomes the talk of the town.

This incident creates envy & jealousy in Pettaikaaran who feels that he has been robbed of respect because of Karuppu's fluke victory and he cleverly plots the downfall of karuppu by being together with him. What happens when Karuppu comes to know of the betrayal? What happens to his love? forms the climax of the film.

Dhanush as Karuppu, has worked really hard to make his character believable and surely Aadukalam belongs to him. After Selvaraghavan, Dhanush clearly seems at ease with Vetrimaaran who has tapped his full potential in this role. This role is tailor made for Dhanush and is his forte and he comes out trumps. Jayabalan revels as Pettaikaaran. Kishore as Dorai is an added asset. Tapsee as Irene, has nothing much to do and she does not take much care in whatever she does in the film too. The character who comes as Dhanush's friend & Naren as Ratnasamy attains special mention.

The film is shot brilliantly with mood lighting to portray the rawness of Madurai. The comedy in the film is woven with the screenplay and is very engaging & entertaining. The songs are well places and are along with the flow of the film which is an added plus. GV Prakash Kumar has once again proved he belongs to the big league with the songs which are chart busters. But, the BGM of the film is plainly disappointing. The trumpet background score very much gives you a hangover of Pollathavan.

Every good thing does have its flaws, the movie is rollicking in the first half wit an edge of the seat rooster fight that is shot brilliantly. The second half drags towards the climax with some fights filmed in Vetrimaaranesque manner, but the film ends as it should, realistically!!!

Aadukalam is definitely worth your money just for the brilliant performances in the film. Kudos to Vetrimaaran for once again breaking away from clich├ęs of Tamil Cinema and coming up with a fresh attempt at realistic cinema.

Aadukalam-Battle Won!!!

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