So, ‘Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara’ could finally be the film that Vijay Sethupathi loses his winning streak. ‘Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara’ is offbeat(ish), unconventional, but it’s also very patchy. There are few stretches that keep you laughing hard, but for the most part, the comedy ranges from flat-out மொக்கை to mildly-humourous.
Vijay Sethupathi revels as ‘Sumaar Moonji Kumaru’, a role that couldn’t have been written any better – unfortunately the only redemption for ‘Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara’. When he isn’t on screen (which is quiet often), the absence is painfully felt. Pasupathi, the guy playing ‘Romba Sumaar Moonji Kumaru’ and Soori (a flash) are the only exceptions to an insane parade of characters that keep sprouting out of no where and make no impact.
While making good as a director, Gokul’s writing (+Madan Karky) is bumpy and a mixed bag, at best. The movie starts out as a promising farce, but takes sudden turns at being a “message” movie. Major portions of the movie are built on jokes and gags that celebrate alcohol abuse and before we blink, IAB transforms into a Public Service Announcement (“released to coincide with Gandhi Jayanthi”). This is exactly where ‘Va Quarter Cutting’ won me over, by remaining unapologetic all the way.
Also adding to the drag are the countless sub-plots and attempts to do justice to each one of them. Chopping the drunk husband/paavam wife, could have done everyone a humongous favour.
Not just the story or plot(s), most characters have no clear definition. M S Bhaskar’s (amazing Malayali accent, btw) Boss character is another instance of unnecessarily switching a character’s tone to make them either likable or to impart a…”message” to us. Then there’s Ashwin Kakumanu’s Bala, who’s stomping all over his girlfriend’s faith and in one fell swoop, breaks into a “மன்னிப்பாயா” song, then dutifully returns to the stomping routine. I get it, he is a confused soul, on a tight rope, but that’s a different movie. Didn’t we start out with a Sethupathi-Pasupathi interaction that was being primed for a laugh riot! The writers could done well without burdening these characters with a moral compass.
The Madras pettai bhashai absolutely works on Vijay Sethupathi. Is “Kumudha Happy!” the new, “Enna aachu?”