Tamil Reviews

Eli Review: A Decade Too Late

Eli Video SongsThere’s something that Vadivelu and his ilk of comedians refuse to acknowledge: their brand of hyperbolic, slapstick humour is just…passé. Nobody really laughs anymore because someone tripped. Least of all when it’s Vadivelu, with his outlandish attire and wooly loafers, getting clubbed the moment he’s introduced in his latest film, Eli. Yes, this fixation with physical humour provided fodder for Goundamani and Senthil, and Vadivelu himself. It saw them through the 90s, and a little through the 2000s as well. But not longer. And, certainly not now. Nobody really laughs at deliberate mispronunciations. Nobody wants to laugh.

Vadivelu is not alone in this, though – a couple of months ago, Bhagyaraj’s Thunai Mudhalvar was just as farcical. A sample: When Shwetha Menon, who plays Bhagyaraj’s wife, says, “Veedu evide?” – which translates to -“Where do you live?” in Malayalam, Bhagyaraj, in a true display of 90s wit, goes, “ennadhu, vade, bonda va?”


Or in Eli, when Vadivelu dreams a duet with Sadha – Mere Sapno Ki Rani Kab Aayegi Tu – in 60s finery, to be sure, singing, “Chali aa, tu chali aa…,” one of his comrades thinks he has a cold. And that particular line is drummed into our heads repeatedly – lest we miss the joke. That is all there is to these films – the ones where comedians turn heroes (the honorary exception being Nagesh, of course). The story – just as preposterous – is a cover to introduce these droll jokes. If anyone is really interested in the actual plot, Vadivelu plays a spy in Eli – a tale set in the 60s. He’s the rat in a den of smugglers, sniffing out information for the police.

Also, he’s called Elisamy in the movie.


Because his parents are named Elizabeth and Sami Kannu, you see.



The Eli Review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.