In the opening shot of Shiva Aravind’s Natpuna Ennanu Theriyuma, we see a middle-aged Kana Kaanum Kaalangal-fame Raviraj sporting a weird hairdo and walking anxiously outside a labour ward. Kavin who’s actually the baby being born inside the operation theatre gives the voiceover: “Paavam enga appa ku late marriage partheengala!” and leaves us in splits.
Whenever the film doesn’t take itself seriously and dedicates itself to humour, like in such moments, NET succeeds. But the problem is, it doesn’t just do that. A comedy sequence is followed by a forced emotional scene and this again gets followed by comedy. It’s safe to say the film’s a bumpy ride.
The portrayal of Illavarasu and Azhagam Perumal’s characters become quite confusing. The former starts off as a greedy and mean nemesis of the lead trio (Kavin, Raju and Arunraja), but as the film progresses, he undergoes a jerky transformation and becomes their go-to person. Somewhere in the middle, he also begins mimicking Vedhalam Ajith for some weird reason. An hour into the film, I wasn’t sure whether I was laughing at a serious scene or getting emotional for a funny one.
The story of NET is weak, and ends up being the newest addition to the infamous list of Indru Poi Naalai Vaa rehashes. Similar to the Bhagyaraj film, the female lead has nothing much to do here. Shiva Anand perhaps wanted to make Remya Nambeesan’s Shruthi, a killer mix of all Tamil heroines. He introduces her as a progressive leather jacket-clad girl, who smacks a guy in a bar for cheating on his friend.
Even her family refers to her as aambala-paiyan-madhri-valarndha-ponnu. But she falls for the hero at first sight, (or should I say second sight?), tries to act cute suddenly, and shouts, “I am the happiest girl in the world,” standing on her terrace.
This supposedly bold girl goes to the extent of attempting suicide when her father refuses her prince charming. Despite being fully aware that it’s a comedy and one perhaps mustn’t expect too much character consistency, it felt sad to witness a strong female character getting written so badly, and a capable actor like Remya being made to star in it.
The pillar that strongly holds the film from falling apart is the performance of the lead trio. Kavin, the famous small screen hero, proves that he can be equally convincing on the silver screen and impresses even with subtle expressions. Raju, on the other hand, gains control as the film progresses and his one-liners in the second half are sure to become a favourite in comedy channels. But on the flip side, it was quite unsettling to see Arunraja Kamaraj continue to be called names like Karuppa and Gunda, in the guise of humour.
Natpuna Ennanu Theriyuma is undoubtedly packed with humour, and a lot of it indeed works. It could, however, have envisioned as an outlandish and memorable buddy comedy, but the lack of clarity in its execution and jumpy writing makes it just a disjointed compilation of comedy scenes.
Director: Shiva Aravind
Rating: 2/5 stars