Avan progresses at a leisurely pace, and at two odd hours and a little more, often seems a tad too lengthy. It offers a pretty hollow experience that is low on real entertainment as well as the thrills, considering it's an action film that tries to be a musical drama as well.
Avan tells the story of Krishnan (Bala) who has had a terrible childhood and who grows up to be a criminal. Having run away from home while still a young boy, he nurtures fond memories of his childhood friend, who has always been a pillar of support. Now, in a bustling city, Krishnan has trodden on many a bloody path and has no qualms of taking lives. When he receives a new assignment of finishing off the career of a budding singer Ramanujam (Vijay Yesudas) he doesn't think twice until he realizes who Ramanujam actually is.
So what Avan does tell is a story that has been told a million times before; of those who live by the sword dying by the sword. The makers have tried to bring in that little bit of freshness into the plot by adding that musical element. I wouldn't say it succeeds much though.
The musical reality show Crime and Music is where Krishnan makes his grand confession. Music has been following him all his life, he says. Among the audience is an extremely enthusiastic spectator (Kottayam Nazir) who sheds tears on hearing Krishnan's story and decides that he wouldn't be part of the show ever again. The reason being that it's unbearable for him to sit through such tragic tales of loss.
Another scene that suffers from this dramatic exaggeration is the one which sees Balu (Vijayaraghavan) the local gangster passing away. Stretched to unimaginable lengths, the scene goes on and on, and yet fails to make you shed one drop of tear.
All that talk about Vijay Yesudas making his grand acting debut in the film remains just talk. For one, Vijay has done more of a cameo in the film and is barely there for a few scenes and a song. If you are wondering how good he would be in acting, I would say he gives us no reason to complain. Bala does a decent job and playing a goon finds himself in familiar territory. Riaz Khan is there in a sidekick role that nevertheless gets noticed. Muktha doesn't have anything significant to play and so does Thalaivasal Vijay.
The music of the film is quite hummable and of the several songs Thozha does stand out. It comes towards the climax, and as a song that tries to be a part of the story itself, it does deliver the goods.
At the end of it, Avan is a bit overwrought and wholly fails to move you. There is nothing intriguing in it that would send your pulses racing. The excitement is minimal and so is its emotional depth.