This prelude might appear interesting on paper, but with performances that are mediocre, and a setting just as unconvincing, Ettuthikkum Mathayaanai‘s opening moments seem like a footage cobbled from theatre auditions.
Ettuthikkum Mathayaanai reeks of pretense. It wants to be those rustic films like Subramaniapuram and Sundarapandian. The men want to wield veecharuvaa. The women want to draw kolam and look pretty in silk saris.
And everyone, unanimously, wants to master the Tirunelveli dialect.
So, every sentence ends with ‘ela’. Easy, there.
Between these ordinaries, there is a TASMAC song and a couple of duets. Not to mention Natesan’s (Sathya) impromptu gig in the middle of the road. Quite similar to this Prabhu Deva song from a long, long time ago.
Opposites of the same genre.
The movie fails at a rudimentary level. The story of a man avenging his younger brother’s death might not be a new premise to Tamil cinema, but it could have been salvaged with crisp narration, and durable performances.
Natesan’s friend Bommai (Sam Anderson), who appears in almost every scene in the first half, is a reluctant, begrudging performer. To cap it all, he handles comedy and also cracks a meta joke about Rasathi. The most maddening thing, however, is that everyone on screen cracks up at Bomma’s pseudo jokes.
But Sathya as Natesan is perhaps the worst. When his father dies, he’s impassive. When his girlfriend agrees to marry him, he is stony. And when he learns something that would perhaps change his life forever, he is stonier.
Amidst all the mediocre actors, Bhanu Chander stands tall, as a cop and Natesan’s father. Those fleeting moments involving him are of some consolation.
He provides a little direction to this movie, which is otherwise full of invisible elephants – mathayaanais, nonetheless – that nobody wants to acknowledge.
The Ettuthikkum Mathayaanai 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.