One of the incidental advantages of shooting a film on a shoe-string budget is that you can shoot a romantic duet on a local beach, and it still looks fresh. The melodious romantic song in Tubelight, composed by director and lead actor Indra, and sung by Unni Menon, is perhaps the best part of the film.
Tubelight makes up for the absence of star-power and a glitzy setting with an interesting protagonist – a happy-go-lucky youngster with a hearing impairment. It takes a few seconds for his brain to process every sound that reaches his ears – the result of a near-fatal accident.
The film starts off well as a confusion comedy. Indra, who plays the protagonist Ram, has an amusing body language that makes his scenes naturally funny and believable. Amply supporting him is Pandiraj, playing a disgraced, but good-hearted physician who is hell-bent on curing Ram’s disability. Ram falls in love with Hema (a very natural Aditi), an art therapist from whom he desperately attempts to hide his impairment.
What is more unfortunate than the protagonist’s tragic disability though, are the old-fashioned aspirations of the low-budget film he is stuck in. It is puzzling that even a genuinely humorous film such as this decides to stick to the hackneyed commercial cinema formula of the hero fighting the villain and saving the girl at the end.
It’s hard to decide what comes across as more contrived – the harmless and frail Ram’s instant transformation into a physically strong fighter, or the portrayal of the female lead as an endlessly kind and beautiful woman, aka Tamil cinema’s favourite cliché.
That said, it would be unfair to write off Tubelight altogether. Remember the time director KV Anand roped in superstar Suriya to play a double role in Maattraan, a movie that he wrote and directed? The film had no shortage of funds, had a promising central theme woven around hospitals, doctors and medicines with names no ordinary human being could pronounce. Yet Maattraan ended up as a thoroughly unimaginative drag.
In comparison, Tubelight is a film which is more than watchable for the sincere performances of its lead actors, and some genuinely comic moments.
The Tubelight 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.