Among today's actors, Suriya has been one of few to show a desire to take on different roles. While
it was a little disappointing that he once again chose the masala route after giving us
Ayan, the silver lining was that he chose as director K.S.Ravikumar, who has one of
the best track records when it comes to masala films. The result is Aadhavan, a typical KSR film
where the masala elements are expected to keep us from looking at the flimsy storyline and lack of logic.
They do so a lot better in the first half than in the second.
For Ibrahim Ravuthar(Shayaji Shinde), killing is a family business as he and his two sons are assassins.
Aadhavan(Suriya), the younger son, has a perfect track record and his latest target is Subramaniam(Bharath
Murali), a judge who is just wrapping up an investigation into the killings of young children. Aadhavan
fails to kill the judge on the first attempt and so he worms his way into Subramaniam's household in order to
finish the task. Everyone in the family takes a liking to him and the judge's niece Tara(Nayanthara) falls
The film opens on a serious note with talk of assassins and murders of children but turns into comedy
once the action moves to Murali's house. The shift is a bit jarring but the comedy makes us forget that
soon enough. Without the double entendres or the physical/verbal abuse that have come to characterize
comedy these days, the movie makes us laugh heartily. The track itself has only a single idea as Vadivelu
attempts to outwit Suriya and ends up in trouble but milks a lot of laughs out of it. Sequences like
the one where Vadivelu is coerced into accepting the plan in a 'theater' and the one where he tries to
get out of a family outing contain a number of hilarious lines. Ramesh Khanna joins the proceedings and
though he doesn't up the laughs significantly, he doesn't damage them either.
The comedic momentum definitely slows down in the second half and the reasons are threefold. First, there are
too many songs introduced under the flimsiest of excuses(Vaaraayo Vaaraayo... is the biggest culprit in
this regard). Secondly, the jokes seem beging to seem repetitive as they continue to revolve around Vadivelu's
troubles and Ramesh Khanna's enthusiasm. And third, inspite of occasional jumps to Shayaji Shinde and Rahul
Dev, the storyline becomes stagnant and shows no signs of going beyond Suriya's failed attempts to kill
The storyline, when it finally does move, employs some of the oldest and most used cliches - and sentiments -
in Tamil cinema. Still, it manages to tie up many loose ends satisfactorily and most importantly, justifies
some of the most obvious questions from before(like, for instance, why Suriya, who is supposed to be a top-notch
assassin, bungles up so badly in his attempts to kill Murali).
The segment where Suriya himself appears as a 10-year-old doesn't amaze us but it definitely earns our
admiration. The graphics are not seamless and the proportions are a little out of whack, especially in the
close-ups. But it is an admirable effort, on the parts of Suriya and the special effects team, and adds some
uniqueness and interest to what would otherwise have been a generic flashback.
While the bulk of Aadhavan is a comedy, the comedic middle portion is bookended by two extended
action sequences. The first opens the film on a high note with a fantastic chase sequence. While similarities
to the parkour sequence in District B13 are unavoidable, quick editing, judicious use of stunt
doubles and an athletic Surya make this chase a close contender to the one in Ayan for the best foot-chase
in Tamil cinema. The climactic sequence is more over-the-top(this might be the first time an RPG rocket is
deployed by hand!) but it does close out the film on a large scale.
Suriya seems to have taken the movie more seriously than intended, especially whenever he is in 'assassin
mode'. But he loosens up and has a blast with Vadivelu. Nayanthara has lost her charm and looks a bit jaded
for the most part. Vadivelu comes up with one of his funniest routines in recent times and his expressions
and voice modulations are perfect for the role. Saroja Devi is on board more as a gimmick since she doesn't
have much to do. Bharath Murali is solid as always in what turned out to be his last role. KSR has shown more
flair than usual in picturizing the song sequences but none of them really stand out. Damakku Damakku...
and Maasi Maasi... are colorful. Hasili Fisili... and Yeno Yeno... are indistinguishable
from one another while Vaaraayo Vaaraayo... sees Suriya and Nayanthara in some different costumes but
makes no impression simply because it is so unnecessary. Dekho Dekho... is irritating and more so after it
ends since the volte face of Saroja Devi and Nayanthara makes the number completely irrelevant.