The film has finally released and we all think that it's the curiosity factor that is capable of making it a hit. After all, you must have also lost count on how many times you have played Kolaveri Di on the loop. The movie doesn't exactly turn on the fireworks but it doesn't fizzle out either. This film is like a gun that has not been fired for a long time. It fires all right but its bullet strangely doesn't make the required distance. The whole Tollywood has already proclaimed that this is an acid test for debutant director Aishwarya (lead actor Dhanush's wife) and that everybody is waiting with bated breadth to see if she has managed to justify the hype surrounding the film. Has she? Read on...
What's it about?
True to its name, the film is about three phases in the life of Ram (Dhanish) and Janani (Shruti Haasan). The film starts with an intriguing scene about a funeral in which Janani lying down on the bed -- sad and perturbed. As expected, within few minutes, the movie goes into the flashback mode.
Phase 1: Ram, a school student meets Janani and falls for her and within no time Janani also reciprocates. The first phase is refreshing and lively with realistic incidents, barring few minor glitches in the storyline. The glitches? Take for instance, Dhanush seeking his dad's time for discussing something 'that matters most in his life' and starts talking about his Tirupathi trip. The scene had the audience smirking. This phase is the most enjoyable phase in the film as this phase entertains you the most. It's Ram's friend (Sivakarthikeyan) who shines as an actor and keeps the audience in splits with his witty one-liners.
Phase 2: Love strengthens between the couple but as usual their parents come in their way. They decide to move to the US and take Janani along with them to prevent her from marrying Ram. Janani retaliates against her parents by burning her passport and tells them that she loves Ram and wants to live with him. Initially, they oppose, but later they give in after they meet Ram and find out that he is a sweet chap. The two get married in a nightclub? (Yes, they wanted a different shaadi) and start dreaming about living happily ever after. This phase, again, passes off like a breeze.
Till now the film sails through smoothly and engages you completely because it is hitherto a roller-coaster ride of emotional ups and downs. The narration is refreshing with the scenes moving back and forth with some suspense thrown in between.
Phase 3: Post interval, the final and third phase starts when Ram suddenly starts having psychological problems. He's detected with bipolar disorder (!!!), a problem which forces a person to swing between moments of extreme happiness and sadness. Ram's friend Senthil (Sunder Ramu) tries to help him and gets him treated without the knowledge of his wife. So, not only the relationship between him and his wife starts to falter from this point, the film starts to stumble too.
The film now takes the typical psychological thriller route from that point and one will tend to lose his interest from this point on because it becomes too predictable. The screenplay starts dragging lot and starts boring you. The only consolation in this phase is 'Why This Kolaveri Di' song and its simple and no nonsensical picturisation. You will like the song but not the phase.
The ending is very predictable. The message that comes after the ending (about suicide) will add to your dislike.
Talking about the casting, it's a neat job. Ram is tailor-made for Dhanush and the National award winning actor once again proves that he is one of the finest actors in South India. His acting is natural and subtle. His body language and voice modulation are fantastic too. His commitment to the film is so high that one feels that all his hard work has been let down by a half-baked script, particularly in the second half.
Shruti Hassan has improved a lot since her last outing in '7am Arivu' and impresses as a caring and confused wife. Sunder Ramu has done his later part to perfection but his physique didn't blend well in the initial phase. Veteran actor Prabhu as Ram's father has given a subtle performance with good support from other senior artists like Rohini and Bhanupriya.
The film is technically very rich with awesome sound clarity made possible by Oscar winner Resul Pookutty. The songs are the soul to this film and are perfectly in sync with the scenes and have been shot well. Anirudh Ravichander proves that he is not a one-song wonder kid and impresses with the background music particularly in the light-hearted moments. Velraj's camera work is noteworthy and Kola Bhaskar's editing could have been used to good effect to cut the unwanted scenes in the second half.
Overall, '3' fails to meet the expectations and works only in parts. Newcomer Aishwarya shows promise by taking a serious subject in her very first film following the footsteps of her guru, Selvaraghavan. If she dared to think a little differently instead of walking on the beaten track, she would have triumphed here.
What to do?
The film's average and not worth watching in the theatres. Better wait for the DVD!
in.com rating – 2.5/5
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