Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Ritu Varma, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Rakshan
Director: Desingh Periyasamy
Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal is faithful to the the film – Mani Ratnam’s Thiruda Thiruda – its title is inspired from. It might just be a little too faithful. It begins like a romance, moves over to scamster territory, involves hotshot police officers chasing a case, big money is pumped in, becomes a romantic film again, before moving into heist territory.
In the lead are two friends — Siddharth (Dulquer Salmaan) and Kaalis (Rakshan), the former an app developer and the latter an animator. Their introduction is strictly functional. Director Desingh Periyasamy wants to tell us that Sid and Kaalis have a lot of money with no liabilities. Not even families to care for or fall back on. They make the moolah and party a lot. So much that they wake up and rush to a party that begins at, wait for it, a little after noon.
The film doesn’t think big, neither does it take itself too seriously. Which is what Thiruda Thiruda did too, with two petty thieves on the run, some big money and law officers hot on their trail and a little love triangle weaved in. Desingh Periyasamy’s film doesn’t complicate matters — Sid falls in love with Meera (Ritu Varma) and Rakshan, by Tamil cinema commandment, falls for her friend Shreya (Niranjani Ahathian).
Like Thiruda Thiruda, Kannum Kannum too is all over the place. Unlike Thiruda Thiruda, it lacks the visuals and the music to save it. In multiple instances, the film insists that we are watching a distinctly Madras film, the director playing guess-this-place and guess-this-road every time, especially targeted at an upper middle-class demographic. But the visual palette is limited to that, the banal dialogues and trajectory of the script draining all the energy out of the film. The result is a mess of hot air.
Desingh Periyasamy thanks Rajinikanth at the beginning of the credits and peppers the film with Rajini references throughout. He even wants to ride on Dulquer’s stardom, directly referencing the star in his remodelled car’s number plate and a not-so-offhand mention of his stature in Kerala.
Kannum Kannum Kolaiyadithaal is derivative, in every department. It is drab at worst and inoffensive at best. We get a hastily put together love story, something straight out of 90s Indian cinema… the background score and the works. Meera has never known Sid but accepts his proposal after a single day of thought. Shreya, her friend and roommate, comfortably reciprocates Rakshan’s lust for her. Though Niranjani Ahathiyan’s resting bitch face is a thing of beauty.
They even casually toss in business and marital partnerships after weeks of dating, and the women lap it up. It all happens a little too easily but at least we get the reason later. Desingh throws in a twist in the end of the first half and I, for one, did not see that coming. It lifts the film by a few notches but thereafter, that’s all he relies on. His tricks have run dry and we are back to square one.
In the second half, it switches gears into a heist film where Desingh goes full Daniel Ocean. But with huge leaps in logic and plausibility. He also lets his women leads down as they take a backseat with Dulquer fully entrenched behind the wheel. The audience is scammed too, the film not delivering on what it promised at the midway mark.
Once again, things are simplified beyond measure and there is no real thrill in finding out what happens. The thrill is only in Goutham Vasudev Menon’s deputy commissioner of police act. Not the good kind of thrill. It is the thrill of watching someone try really hard. He jumps straight out of the scene in Kaakha Kaakha where, as an experienced encounter specialist, he advises Surya’s Anbuselvan and team.
The same plain face with no expression or muscle movement. Menon gets a mass introduction as a no-nonsense police officer picked out of any Tamil masala cop film. I waited till the end for him to utter “Naa ore oruthan. Ennaku bayame kadayadhu”. Alas, it was not to be. Instead, the self-reflexive nature of the film goes elsewhere when it comes to Menon. Once again, I did not see this coming. Two high points, one unironic and another ironic, lasting a couple of minutes in an overlong drear fest.
The Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.