At the outset, the film stays loyal to the now familiar Gautam Menon (GVM) template. A template where even cop films will have soft, lingering romance woven into it. A template where voice over is a character by itself. A template where the hero is a Mr. Perfect in front of the heroine/girls. The only difference in Enai Noki Paayum Thota(ENPT) being – the romantic lead and the cop character are two different persons. The story line and sequences though remind us of some of his earlier films like Kakka Kakka etc.
The film toggles between a past which is mushy, romantic, colourful and dreamy with nothing much happening except for the songs and a violent, dark present in which bullets do the talking! This is one tamil film where the lead pair falls into love without much of effort from either side. You wish that this part gets over quickly once the romance is established and the story gets to the “bullet” angle sooner! The present also connects the hero to his brother who was lost at a young age. The treatment of the story line is therefore novel.
The story and writing are credited to GVM which has his stamp all over it. Voice overs play a key role in his films usually and this is no different. The entire story and thought process of many of the characters are conveyed to us through Dhanush’s brooding voice overs. This aspect starts off as a different and interesting tool but soon becomes an overkill. This also seems very artificial at certain places and slows down the pace of the film. A tighter narrative could have worked even better.
Dhanush gives an accomplished performance both as the 20 something engineering college student and later the manly avtar who is at the mercy of bullets. Both in terms of physicality and emoting, Dhanush handles these phases very, very well. The other actors are ok and do not make much of an impact.
GVM has a good ear for music and he proves it once again. One can’t believe that the music is by a debutant – Darbuka Siva whose songs and background score provide a solid support to the film. The songs are apt for the mood and setting and gradually grow on you. The song Maruvaarthai sung by Sid Sriram is peach of a melody and I think is an addition to the ever growing list of nice melody songs in the raga Reeti Gowla in Tamil films.
If Bharathi Raja had “Vellai udai azhagigal” following the lead pair throwing petals in almost all his duets, GVM has young men dancing around in a group with the hero in most of the songs!!
The climax turned out tepid after all the build up and could have been written and staged better.
Notwithstanding the familiar look and feel of the film, its a well made film and worth a watch in theatre. The film it seems finally got released after a lot of financial turbulence for the Director. GVM should be a happy man today as this thota has hit the bull’s eye!