Remember a few years ago when the thriller Chennaiyil Oru Naal created a buzz in Tamil cinema, and welcomed the genre of thrillers in which several short stories merge into one? The movie also paved way for films that revolved around the one-day timeline. This also meant that these thrillers were woven around a Hollywood template. One of the recent films that stays faithful to these factors, is director Ramprakash’s Tamiluku En Ondrai Azhuthavum (TEOA).
A disappointment and chaotic affair, TEOA follows the template of a race-against-time. The plot revolves around a terrorist who schemes to bomb a city, a young nerd who is aims to resolve a technical mobile network issue, a taxi driver who persuades his fiancé, and a salesperson who decides to unite with his love. All four lives are unconnected, yet converge around three different points, and they ultimately succeed in fulfilling their goals. All, except one. (No brownie points for guessing who fails.) The film starts off on an intriguing note, drawing the complete attention of the viewer. We see tension and panic in the air, and also learn about the solar flare, due to which the city will face mobile network issues.
We see a wonderfully sketched relationship between Vasanth (Nakul) and his mother, whose knowledge about technology is more than that of a graduate in engineering. The scene in which she explains how she found herself interested in it is simply brilliant. It echoes originality. In fact, making this as a core track in a movie, would have worked very well. The track between Simi (Bindu Madhavi) and Mukil (Dinesh) also has some nice moments. A special mention to the quick-cut flashback sequence, which justifies the calm nature of Simi. The audience is unsure if the technical jargon used by Vasanth is correct, but we do know that those engineering students he’s helped are certainly blessed. How else would you explain a huge telecom company approaching them when the MD was ‘impressed’ with their college project?
However, one person who wasn’t blessed in this movie was the terrorist. Poor wannabe engineer-turned- terrorist from ‘North India’ had a pretty bad fate. He speaks in Tamil to people who speak to him in Hindi (and vice-versa), creates bombs that contain test tubes of blue gummy- liquid in them and even has a cell phone that received terrible cell phone network. And in the end, all this backfired against him! I guess the joke’s on the viewer for believing this juvenile and hilarious ploy of certain technical sequences.
The problem of the film, however, is the chaotic tone it brings in. The characters and events that are part of this film seem unconnected. And also the fact that the filmmaker deliberately included the ‘terrorist’ to create a certain amount of tension in the film. Better lip-sync and an ensemble cast of supporting actors would have brought the complexities of this movie to be a little relatable. There is a scene in which the movie projects three different sequences in one frame, to bring out a sense of hyper linking and tension. But the idea with which it was carried out resembled the layout of the famous collage-maker apps on smartphones. The background music of the film is definitely a plus. All said and done, the performances of Nakul and Urvashi are one of the biggest highlights of this film. While Nakul delivers a subtle and neat act, Oorvasi is full of life! Bindu Madhavi almost looks like she’s sweet and charming, but seems to lose her energy after a point.
Why you should watch this film?
Watch this film if you’re a fan of thrillers and if you’re in the mood to learn a thing or two about the telecom industry.