Enai Noki Paayum Thota movie review: Dhanush-starrer is Gautham Menon's weakest film yet
Directed by Gautham Menon, Dhanush's Enai Noki Paayum Thota will leave you with many unanswered questions.
Ace Kollywood director Gautham Vasudev Menon has a cult following among young audiences. He is a stylish filmmaker who delivers packaged entertainment. Often set in an urban space, his films have a fair amount of English dialogues, heartwarming moments of romance, good looking people, peppy music, slick action sequences. However, his latest Dhanush-starrer, Enai Noki Paayum Thota, which was stuck for three years due to financial problems, is his weakest film yet.
The film has a terrific opening scene as a bullet is about to hit Raghu (Dhanush) — a voice over explains his plight. We are told Raghu comes from an affluent family in Pollachi and is studying engineering in an upmarket college in Chennai. One day, during a film shooting in the college campus, he meets up with the lead actress, Lekha (Megha Akash), who takes a liking to him. And soon the film heroine and the engineering student fall madly in love. Lekha is an orphan and even though she isn't happy working in films, she is being mentored by the film’s director, Kuberan (Senthil Veerasamy). And by the time the shoot of her is over in the college campus, Lekha elopes with Raghu, who takes her to his home in Pollachi.
Kuberan tracks her down and for the sake of Raghu and his family, she is forced to go with the director and his musclemen. Four years and five films later, Lekha becomes a star. Out of the blue, Ragu once again gets a call from her and understands that she is clearly in distress. Lekha tells him she had met his estranged elder brother Thiru (Sasikumar) in Mumbai and that she is in trouble. She requests him to come over. Raghu goes to Mumbai to see his brother and gets caught in a battle between gunrunners and undercover cops. The rest of the film is how Raghu decides to switch to what he calls “beast mode”.
ENPT looks like a mishmash of Menon’s earlier romantic films Vaaranam Aayiram and Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada in the first half. Post interval, it begins to seem like a mixture of his action-packed cop films, Khakka Khakka and Vetaiyadu Vilayadu. As usual, if romance dominates the beginning, the second half becomes bloody and unbelievable as the hero becomes a one-man fighting machine, saving the heroine. That leaves for too many unanswered questions. The first half does not gel with the second half as the screenplay is a mess and lacks a coherent plot with continuity issues. The romance in the first half between an engineering student an actress who has come to shoot in the campus lacks conviction. In the second half, the sudden appearance of the elder brother as an undercover police officer falls flat.
The director also goes overboard with the voiceover technique, a narration tool used frequently in all Gautham Menon movies. Here, almost every scene — whether it is emotional or action-heavy — becomes irritating beyond a point. The film works to a certain extent only because of Dhanush. He is earnest and believable in the romantic scenes; one particular action scene filmed inside a moving lift is terrific. Megha Akash looks good on screen even though her character is not well written. Senthil Veerasamy as the dirty, villainous film director is riveting whereas Sasikumar as the brother does not fit the bill. Darbuka Siva' music is hummable and peppy, though the picturisation is not up to Menon’s usual standards.
Ene Noki Paayum Thota is way off the target and should have been shorter. The Gautham Menon magic is clearly missing.
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