2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)
Verdict: Engeyum Kadhal was marketed as a breezy entertainer. It delivers what it promises.
Rohit Ramachandran Mon, 09 May 2011
All right, here's where Kollywood gets my praise. Kollywood seems to be able to make romantic musicals with ease.
Kayalvizhi (Hansika Motwani) is lonely, insecure and feels a missing sense of belongingness. Her social circle comprises of a binge eater and her detective father. The temporary escapes from her mundane life are her cello and her dad's case files. Since, there's no opportunity to create new memories she knows all of her dad's cases by heart. In walks Kamal (Jayam Ravi), a wealthy metro sexual businessman who vacations once a year in Paris, regularly engaging in quickies with French women. Yet, he sticks to the rule "No love = no commitments, no disappointments, nobody gets hurt." He believes he doesn't need emotional attachment.
The characters aren't deep or well developed, but they have sides that they aren't consciously aware of, making them more than simply hero and heroine. Their relationship is what brings out their characters, developed by implicit characterization. His sense of fulfillment reminds her of her neediness and when she appears to have toed the line with him, he's exposed to his own need for being needed, something that was buried deep within, beyond anyone's reach including his own. Deception might appear to be highlighted in the film but it's self-deception that's brought to attention. However hard a person tries to stay detached, there's that inner child that will always crave for love. Hence, "Engeyum Kadhal."
Engeyum Kadhal works because the film's intentions, for the major part, are focused on the relationship between the two lead characters. I don't expect a film like this to provide food for thought but Engeyum Kadhal aspires to do very little and for that, it strives very hard. Prabhu Deva sticks to what he knows best resisting temptation to make political references and adding pointless twists like a lot of recent stinkers have. Still, it too has problems of its own.
There are bursts of Raju Sundaram's stale slapstick comedy, which misfires throughout, except once or twice. He is an unwanted accessory in the film and eventually gets disposed but it should've been done earlier. Almost every scene with him is completely out of context. Also, I don't see why the characters' thoughts are voiced. Why spoon-feed? No faith in the audience? It's only Prakash Raj's cameo appearance that provides comic relief.
Unlike Vaanam and Ko, every song is there for a reason and has purpose even if the purpose isn't always meaningful. Harris Jayaraj who flew solo in Ko, here provides music that supports the film and strikes a chord with the viewers. Both actors rise to the occasion and the bright colour schemes accentuate the film's effervescence. Engeyum Kadhal was marketed as a breezy entertainer. It delivers what it promises.
Critic: Rohit Ramachandran
2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)