There is a distinct lack of variety in Tamil cinema when it comes to the genres our directors tackle. An overwhelming
majority of films are masala films or romances and genres like science fiction, horror and fantasy are given
short shrift. This is usually disappointing but INA is one of those films that makes our adherence to specific
genres seem like a good thing. It belongs to the rare socio-fantasy genre but is so ineptly made that it could make
one swear off films in that genre forever.
Azhagappan(Vadivelu), a drama artist, learns to his horror that his marriage will be short-lived since his wife
will die prematurely. To get around this curse, a mock wedding is arranged between Azhagappan and the statue of a woman
that appears by the side of the road. Turns out the statue is actually Rambha, who was cursed for spending too much
time on earth. Taking the marriage seriously, Rambha carts Azhagappan off to heaven, telling him that he will spend
days down on earth and nights up in heaven. Invisible to both Indra(Vadivelu) and Yama(Vadivelu), Azhagappan sees how
overcrowded hell is and wants to do something about it.
INA has no idea what kind of a film it wants to be. Stuck between feeding Vadivelu's ego by giving him
maximum screen time, satisfying his fans who come to the film looking for his brand of comedy, proving that he
can act in non-comedy roles too and conveying a message, the director makes a complete mess of the film. The movie
keeps alternating between cheap comedy, artificial sentiments and confusing messages and none of it works. In fact
things have the opposite effect of what was intended as we cry during the unfunny comedy, laugh at the superficial
sentiments and cringe at the efforts at preaching.
Thotta Tharani's sets look grand(that is the only department where the film comes of better compared to
Imsai Arasan) but everything else about the movie is cheap. Whether its the quality of the jokes(Yama's
mechanical bull dumping dung on one of his assistants. That's kinda self-referential though since we know exactly
how the assistant feels!) or the lack of subtlety in conveying ideas(how do we know Vadivelu's preaching worked? Two
guys who attempt to molest a woman pass by another woman respectfully when she is walking on the road in the middle of
the night while decked up like a model for a jewellery store ad!), the movie seems cheap and crude.
INA seems like a vehicle for Vadivelu to play hero. Having an introduction song, getting a top heroine
to dance for an item number, appearing in a variety of getups, imparting a message - Vadivelu does everything
expected of a regular Tamil cinema hero. Unfortunately, he is a comedian and not a hero and just the fact that
he adds a comic touch to the aforementioned things doesn't make them any easier to endure. He hams most of the
time with his loud voice and exaggerated gestures. He is particularly grating as Yama but some of the quieter
scenes as the soft-spoken Indra do remind that he is a good actor. Yamini struggles to make an impression and the
fact that is playing Rambha but has little dance skills probably has something to do with it. Nasser, with his
smile and slightly effeminate body language makes a good Narada and is the only actor in the cast to make a positive