Film: Alagan Alagi
Cast: Jack Michael, Aarushi, A Venktesh, Ravi Maria, Sams, Arthi
Director: Nanda Periyasamy
Director-turned-actor Nanda Periyasamy returns to direction after a fairly long hiatus. Blending a style of fiction and documentary, the director attempts to strike a different chord. The film opens with Selva who sets out with his team in a caravan to audition people for a TV show called Alagan Alagi, and encounters different kinds of people. The director seems to have taken inspiration from the Iranian film Salaam Cinema . A film within a film, Salaam... documented the real-life experience of a director, who records on camera his interviews with thousands of people who had turned up to audition for his new film.
As Selva cruises on his caravan hunting for fresh talent for the TV show, auditioning aspirants and recording it on his camera, people from different walks of life turn up. Many are even willing to part with their hard earned money. The aspirants include a cop who struts about in front of the camera giving different poses, an aged man who seems like he will soon breathe his last, some terrorists and Jothi, a domestic help, among others. Each of them talk about their passion, experiences and grievances to the camera. The director springs a surprise towards the intermission, where we get to know the background of Selva and his crew, and their agenda. Its the type of script where in the initial part ,any sequence can be added or removed without disturbing the flow. But while the Iranian film had moments of humour during the auditioning, and reflected various segments of its society, this one has a dry flat narration. Selva’s interest in Jothi, who was being exploited by her employers for their own selfish end, gets the duo in trouble. It’s payback time when Selva and his crew find the cop they had conned, and Jothi’s employers are hot on their tracks. The early sequences are different and interesting. But when it gets serious with Selva in reform-mode, it becomes a tad tedious, and the narration lags. There are about seven songs, a couple of them pleasantly tuned, and aesthetically shot.
But forced in towards the latter part, they further slacken the pace. Jack Michael (from Malayalam film Mohabbath) makes a promising debut on the Tamil screen.
Aarushi’s lip sync at times may fall short, but the debutant actress does well. Its a poignant ending, carrying hope for a new beginning and the film strikes a different chord. But it could have been crafted in a more interesting and appealing way to the audience.