Director: Shiva Aravind
Cast: Kavin, Ramya Nambeesan, Raju, Arunraja Kamaraj
A scene in Shiva Aravind’s Natpuna Ennanu Theriyuma sees newcomer Raju, who plays Raju, one of three close friends, consuming poison in a suicide attempt. Because a girl he loved didn’t love him back. I thought Tamil cinema had moved on to showing its men stalking, creeping, and frightening the hell out of their women on rejection.
But, more to the point, on hearing his suicide attempt, Raju’s friends Siva and Mani (Kavin and Arunraja Kamaraj) rush him to hospital. The doctors are missing in action, so the cleaning lady rises to the occasion. She revives Raju, removes the poison from his system. A grateful Siva and Manu thrust a few notes in the cleaner’s hand and leave. Old Rs. 500 notes, the ones that were rendered invalid by the Government in 2016.
Similarly, Natpuna Ennanu Theriyuma feels dated, an old sort of film but with new actors. So much so that cinematographer Ilavarasu, who plays a supporting role in the film, actually says as much to the three lead characters. Towards the end of the film, he says, “Old style, old technique.”
Natpuna Ennanu Theriyuma is written and directed by Shiva Aravind, and produced by Ravindhar of Libra Productions. The film stars Kavin, Ramya Nambessan, debutant Raju, Arunraja Kamaraj, Rajendran, Mansoor Ali Khan, and others. The film was shot by Yuva and edited by Nirmal, and features music by Dharan.
The film was originally announced in September 2017 and was to release in March 2018. However, delays and lack of screens resulted in a May 2019 release.
Three kids – Siva, Raju and Mani – are born on the same day, and become friends. Such close friends, they all make the same mistakes in their school exams and fail together. They become the classic Tamil cinema loiterers, always hanging about on the streets of their little tenements, up to no good, the ire of the local do-gooder.
A girl in school “cheats” Siva in a crucial exam, and the three boys decide they’re off women for the rest of their lives. I do wish Tamil cinema heroes follow through with this, and we have a mainstream gay character, because this hinting and not hinting at homo erotic male friendships is getting a tad boring. You eat from the same plate, take showers together, sleep in the same bed. Article 377 is off, you might as well get married and go to Pride together.
The three friends specialise in organising the weddings of runaway lovers and then figuring out how to talk to the parents of the two sides. If the rest of Natpuna Ennanu Theriyuma was just this, we may have had a nice enough film, but no. None of the boys – who grow up to become full-fledged loiterers-turned-entrepreneurs – really sticks to the ‘no-girls’ decision. The first to fall is Raju. The woman is Shruti – played by Ramya Nambessan. She is shown to be a modern young woman, because she wears lipstick and a leather jacket in Chennai and is in a TASMAC bar in the city – not to drink, but to bash a man who’s there. It’s love at first sight for Raju, and he contrives a way to show his two friends who the girl is. And so, love at first sight happens to Mani and Siva as well.
Raju wants to “propose” to Shruti, except Siva maneuvers things in a way that he is the one who tells Shruti first, and, in turn, Shruti also says she loves him. And, we are all set for this most amazing twist in the story that we figured three scenes ago: Shruti is the girl who cheated Siva in the exam. No one saw that coming.
The next half of the film has various characters consuming poison – because, love failure. And, a reconcilation of various relationships with parents, friends and random passers-by. But, not before the three characters can mouth off inanities about friendship, sing a duet or two.
This is not to say the film is entirely wasted. There are moderately funny set-ups and gags, and Arunraja Kamaraj as Mani, the comedian of the piece, does his best to be intentionally funny. The only problem is that the whole film depends on old tropes, which lets even Ilavarasu comment on how trite the film is.
The Natpuna Ennanu Theriyuma 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 any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.