AVAN IVAN MOVIE REVIEW
Cast: Arya, Vishal, Madhu Shalini, Janani Iyer, G.M. Kumar, RK, Ambika and others
Production: Kalpathi S Agoram, Kalpathi S Ganesh, Kalpathi S Suresh
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography: Arthur A. Wilson
Editing: Suresh Urs
Anything which raises expectations beyond a certain limit tends to disappoint the receiver more often than not. This appears to be the case with Bala’s ‘Avan Ivan’, which had upped the anxiety among movie-goers in the past few weeks, thanks to the pre-release publicity glitz indulged in by the makers. The end product, though, leaves one squeezing his brain as to why Bala couldn’t have attempted more.
Bala’s films have always struck the viewers in the face with their own overt, realistic styles. Be it ‘Sethu’ or ‘Nanda’ or ‘Pithamagan’ or ‘Naan Kadavul’, Bala has always carefully treaded the path of realistic film-making which appears to be sadly missing from ‘Avan Ivan’.
The ace director, credited with making a career for Vikram, Suriya and Arya through his earlier films, has directed Vishal for the first time. Arya, who played the lead role in ‘Naan Kadavul’, is the other hero in the film.
The script has hardly anything new to offer. The one guy who carries the film on his broad shoulders is none other than actor Vishal, who appears squint-eyed throughout the film (even in emotional sequences).
The movie kicks off with a wonderful kuthu number as we are acquainted with the lives of two-step brothers Walter Vanangamudi (Vishal) the squint eyed and Kumbiduren Saami (Arya) the clever one.It is set against a rural backdrop in a village in Theni.Walter and Saami might be ‘partners in crime’ when it comes to carrying out an act of theft in the village, but the fact remains that both of them can not see each other eye to eye otherwise. The story revolves around how Walter and Saami being at odds settle matters cheerfully as they strike a common chord in their faithfulness towards the local landlord (GM Kumar) .The latter part of the script sees the lead pair joining in heroic efforts to protect their zamindar played by GM Kumar from the cattle smuggler (RK).
Vishal : The mass hero has taken a complete U turn.The squint eyed Vishal is better than all other Vishals we have seen till date. Not only has he done full justice to the character entrusted by his director, our hero has pulled out a real gem with Avan Ivan. His Navarasa emotions portrayed in one of the scenes made his performance a truly memorable one.
Arya: Though Arya pales in comparison to Vishal when it comes to performance, the former thrills the audience with his rib-tickling comedy tracks and dialogue delivery. His body language and ways of emoting are good and is particularly impressive in the climax sequence.The police chase in the movie will go as the best ‘Arya’ moment with many fans.
GM Kumar: Filmmaker-actor G.M. Kumar as Zamindar has put in a classy, effortless performance. He also joins the select list of few actors who have dared to ‘bare’.Playing the unthroned zamindar he brings a nice balance to the story .Having Walter and Saami by his side made the experience all the richer.
Leading ladies Janani Iyer and Madhu Shalini do not have much to do. Actress Ambika looks perfect in her role as a mom who smokes beedi and shamelessly demands her son to save up some liquor for night!
Vishal’s power-packed performance leaves us astonished.
With the cinematography wing handled by Arthur A Wilson’s his eye for detail and choice for some wonderful camera angles made the experience worth the watch. Suresh Urs’s editing duties have been performed with precision.
T Muthuraj’s has been able to deliver the village feel with his wonderful art work.
Yuvan Shankar Raja having ample scope to explore some rural themes has provided some wonderful music to the project.As always, Yuvan’s background score has a telling effect on the visuals as the young magician uses with aplomb the various instruments such as violin, veena and strings.
Surya’s cameo in the movie added more to the feel good factor with fans in full cheer to see their hero.
Bala has let himself down by sketching a weak script.The director’s confidence in the lead pair of Vishal and Arya has worked well but it makes one wonder if Bala has sacrificed on the script for commercial purposes.
That educated and well placed girls falling for the petty thieves is a cliché you would not expect from a director like Bala. He has already shown such a love in Pithamagan but he tried to reason it out. Here the way the love affairs occur is quite unimaginative. Bala has clearly taken the viewers for granted. The characterization of the girls too leaves much to be desired.
Some lewd dialogues could have been avoided.
The climax is predictable.
Another huge disappointment for the viewers would be the ‘deleting’ of popular numbers such as ‘Avanpathi’ and ‘Oru Malayoram’ from the movie’s final version.
Avan Ivan rides on the brilliant performances from Arya and Vishal. Director Bala has to be given due credit for discovering the untapped talents of both his actors especially Vishal’s.Even though it is a Bala film with a difference the disappointment lies with the script being sacrificed.
We sure expect a better deal from Bala the next time around!