Story & Narration
Technical Aspects & Music
Bold, beautiful and brilliant.
With Aadai, Rathna Kumar pulls off the impossible, attempting a one-of-a-kind film that puts across a very familiar message in thrilling fashion. While the ultimate bottom-line stated by the director stands debatable, the journey is something that you simply have to witness on the big screen.
Starring: Amala Paul, Ramya VJ, Vivek Prasanna, Siva Ranjini and others; Written & Directed by: Rathnakumar; Produced by: Viji Subramanian; Executive Producer: Kirubakaran Ramasamy; Music: Pradeep Kumar | OORKA ; DOP: Vijay Kartik Kannan ; Editor: Shafique Mohamed Ali ; Art Director: Videsh ; Stunts: “Stunner” Sam ; Costume Designer: Kavitha J ; Banner: V Studios ; Release Date: 19-07-2019 ; Run Time: 02:23:00
Rathna Kumar’s debut was a fun-filled entertainer, to say the least. It had no signs of any shock waves, and was majorly concentrating on putting a smile on the faces of the audiences, and nothing more. But with his sophomore film in Aadai, the director pulls off the impossible, attempting a one-of-a-kind film that puts across a very familiar message in thrilling fashion. While the ultimate bottom-line stated by the director stands debatable, the journey is something that you simply have to witness on the big screen.
Aadai takes off with Rathna Kumar introducing us to the world of Kamini (played by the amazing Amala Paul) and how she channels her thoughts and actions in her daily life. Amala is joined by her friends, including VJ Ramya, Vivek Prasanna, Roju and a couple others. After vacating their current workplace, the friends plan to spend one last night in the building, which then opens up a bag of surprises and shocks. Rathna Kumar skillfully builds up the first two acts of his film with terrific support from his technical team. His writing here balances out the shock value of the actual core with hilarious one-liners that are sure to leave you tickled. There’s always a crazy little twist to the ideologies and plot points that he puts across, and that comes to life through the news-reader episode which is the trigger to the tension. From there on, Aadai moves on in full throttle with Amala Paul’s character being at the center of all proceedings, and the rest happening in the background.
We have already read and said that there is no one gutsy enough to do what Amala Paul has done here, but the film is much more than what the posters promise, and that should have been the reason for her to pick this script, more than the ‘dare to bare’ portions. Through the fantastic lenswork of Vijay Kartik Kannan, Rathna Kumar puts the spotlight on Amala Paul’s struggle inside the building, taking it to the zenith before breaking the suspense. However, the film becomes a bit of a downer once it reaches the final stage, thanks to the slightly less impactful back story that it possesses. The emotions here are genuine, but the director decides to opt for a familiar and preachy route rather than something heavy or all the more shocking. Another step where the film misses a trick is by not handing over a proper closure to the mother’s arc, which indeed was something I strongly looked forward to. This was a space which could have been explored further, since the point about the contrasting viewpoints between the mother and the daughter had been put forward nicely earlier.
Despite these dips, Aadai stands out strong thanks to the content that it holds and the technical finesse that comes along. Music band Oorka seem to know the importance of silence, noise and death metal in a narrative, and it all works like clockwork on the editing table as well. In totality, Aadai’s viewpoints may be ambiguous and polarized, but the theatrical experience that it provides is something that should be on everybody’s list. Watch it, for it is one of the most important films of the year.