Oru Kal Oru Kannadi - Movie Review

Oru Kal Oru Kannadi - Movie Review
Cast: Udhayanidhi Stalin, Hansika Motwani, Santhanam, Saranya Ponvannan, Azhagam Perumal, Sayaji Shinde, Uma Padmanabhan and others
Director: M Rajesh
Music: Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography: Balasubramaniam
Editing: Vivek Harshan
Rating: ★★½☆☆

Review: Oru Kal, Oru Kannaadi is tortuous

After the runaway success of Siva Manasula Shakthi and Boss (E) Baskaran, director M Rajesh's latest, Oru Kal, Oru Kannaadi (A Stone, A Mirror) is true to his particular style of filming that you could substitute the actors and screenplay and get nothing new from the result.

Oru Kal, Oru Kannaadi (the title is taken from one of the songs in the movie SMS), produced by Red Giant Movies makes it very clear that the cast and crew had just one thing on their minds: wholesale entertainment, preferably with no brains involved.

The Story: Boy from a supposedly middle-class family, who almost never works, scouts for suitable girls to marry. He mocks "ordinary-looking" girls in public and reviles them. Finally he chooses a rich, very fair-complexioned girl and expects her to return his affections for no reason other than the fact that he's male and she's female. No matter how much he loafs around, she has to love him. That's pretty much it, as far as OKOK is concerned.

The Guy: Saravanan (Udhayanidhi Stalin) works in Sathyam Cinemas as an usher. But aside from a couple of random shots of him sitting around and chatting in the theatre, he's never seen to be working.

He does, however, ride around all over Chennai on a snazzy bike, dresses well, and is always in the company of his friend Partha, until he falls in love with the perfect girl, Meera. Post this, of course, his job is to tell her that he likes her only because she's beautiful (like Chinna Thambi's Khushboo, as he tells her) and find unbelievable reasons for why she should love him.

Even the gods help Saravanan when she repeatedly rejects him: all her other suitors are even worse than he is! Which makes an excellent point for why she should love him, eventually.

Udhayanidhi, who makes his debut as an actor, aside from his producer avatar, has tried valiantly to play the role but his dances and dialogue delivery look painstaking. On the other hand, his isn't a role that requires any finesse, so this doesn't matter.

The Girl: Meera (Hansika Motwani) is the daughter of the deputy commissioner of police in Chennai (Shayaji Shinde). She is quite rich, has a complexion that rivals milk, flips her hair around, and wears tight dresses which automatically makes her desirable.

She's training to be an air-stewardess (the director's fascination with this profession continues) and eventually begins to work for Kingfisher, where she's followed by the guy Saravan and his cohort friend Partha, harassed mercilessly in public, until she confesses her true feelings (in private).

Throughout, despite being depicted as a vapid, spoilt brat whom the "hero" tames, you only feel pity for this well-to-do girl who's forced into a relationship she doesn't really seem to want or need.

Hansika Motwani looks and is her usual, bubbly helium-enriched self, who mostly has nothing to do but look pretty and puzzled. That's what her role requires of her and she fulfills it perfectly.

The Hero: Partha (Santhanam), the faithful sidekick of the guy who willingly wisecracks, saves Saravanan from sticky situations, plays second fiddle. He loves and loses his own girl and in Saravanan's own words, does pretty much what's asked of him, all for the sake of his friendship.

Partha has a ready collection of gags and one-liners that rescue the screenplay, story, guy and girl when everything threatens to go off the rails. He packs in a lot of verbal punches, emotes and expresses everything in wildly exaggerated yet genuinely heart-warming fashion.

You stick to watching the lovers' travails not because you're invested in them, but because of Partha's unique take and punchy dialogues. In fact, Saravanan and Partha spend more time in each other's company and are so finely in tune with each other's feelings that you question the need for Meera at all.

By rights, Santhanam's name, which appears third after Udhayanidhi and Hansika, should have come first. He's the only reason you can even sit through most scenes. The man has almost single-handedly ensured that OKOK is watchable, even though some gags aren't quite as funny as they used to be. His expressions, dialogues, and even dance save the day.
Harris Jeyaraj, the credits say, composed the music. Aside from Venaam Machan (which, though foot-tapping, is a rehash of Vaaranam Aayiram's Anjalai), there's nothing even remotely interesting about the music.

Vivek Harshan's editing could have been better, while Balasubramaniem's cinematography is slick as usual.

OKOK is a slightly torturous friendship story of two guys and that's pretty much it. There's a girl here, somewhere, but she doesn't count. The only one who matters is Santhanam, and his hilarious one-liners bag all your attention.

Review 2

Producer Udhayanidhi Stalin is turning a full-time actor with Oru Kal Oru Kannadi, which is out and out comedy entertainer. With hilarious one-liners and wonderful performances of the lead stars, the Tamil film wins the heart of the audience.

The story begins with a courier boy delivering a post to Saravanan (Udhayanidhi Stalin), where he receives a wedding invitation of his girlfriend Meera (Hansika Motwani). In order to stop the marriage, he sets a journey to Pondicherry along with Parthasarathy (Santhanam) in a car. As they move ahead, a flashback opens up, which tells the tale of their friendship and their love story.

Saravanan, who is a childhood friend of Partha, sees a masked girl at a traffic signal when he was on his way to drop his mother (Saranya Ponvannan) to a college. The mother and son pass on a comment that makes her to remove her scarf and show her face. The moment he sees her face, he falls in love with her and the love story begins. The rest of the tale is advised to watch on-screen.

From the word go, Oru Kal Oru Kannadi keeps you engaging with its comic scenes. Though, we cannot say that the movie has a good story, there is not a single moment where the audience get bored. Director Rajesh has penned a simple yet lively story. His narration, like before, is impressive. The strengths of Oru Kal Oru Kannadi are the one-liners and the way Santhanam mouths it. However, the drawback of the story is that there is not anything new in the film and the audience had seen such rom-coms more often than not.

Acting wise, Udhayanidhi Stalin does a good job in his debut film Oru Kal Oru Kannadi. He looks younger than his age and if he can improve his acting skills, the producer-turned-actor can definitely take up a full-time acting career. But his dancing abilities are not impressive and he has to work on it. When it comes to Santhanam, the comedian breaks the funny bones of the audience all through. In fact, it would not be exaggeration if we say that he is the second lead actor of the film. Bubbly Hansika Motwani is beautiful and charming. Last but not the least, Saranya Ponvannan has given an excellent performance. And others like Azhagam Perumal, Sayaji Shinde, Uma Padmanabhan are okay in their limited roles. It is also noted that Arya, Sneha and Andrea have done guest appearances in the movie.

Technically, Balasubramaniam's cinematography is good, Harris Jayaraj's 'Venaam machan...' and 'Kathal oru butterfly...' are praise worthy. Vivek Harshan's editing is decent. We should appreciate director M Rajesh for doing a neat and enjoyable film.

Verdict: Oru Kal Oru Kannadi may not have a great storyline, but watching the film is worth every penny.

Oru Kal Oru Kannadi - Movie Review
Reviewed by The Cinema News on April 13 2012.
Oru Kal Oru Kannadi - Movie Online Review, Rating
Oru Kal Oru Kannadi may not have a great storyline, but watching the film is worth every penny.
Rating: 2.5


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