Aadai Tamil Movie Review

Jul 20, 2019 By Baranidharan Sivasankaran

'Aadai,' opens up with a little known piece of history that is infamously associated with the state of Kerala; particularly with the "Thiruvangoor Samasthanam," wherein tax reliefs were given to the families whose women had their breasts uncovered. 'Nangeli' a woman who protested against the injustice crucified herself by cutting off her breasts and serving them on a plantain leaf to the king.

After the movie, I was musing about the reason for that piece of history at the start of the film. Particularly on the connection that it had with the story of 'Aadai.' No matter how hard I thought, nothing came across as a solid connection. The subtle message that I could think was the paradigm shift in the viewpoint of feminism between then and now. And, that, in my opinion, has been conveyed in the film through the glasses of moral police!

'Kamini' played by a belligerent and natural Amala Paul is a free-spirited girl whose dope is to have incredible thrills. She loves to take up any challenge with an unwavering attitude to just prove a point. Along with her colleagues, she fulfills her thrills through a prank show conducted for their television channel.

Things start getting out of hand when Kamini puts down one of her colleague friend, Jennifer (Ramya), just for a piece of the challenge. In a high mood, in an abandoned building, she wakes up nude the next day. What has happened the previous night after the wild party with her colleagues, and how did she manage the situation?

While the posters and the movie's premise looked bold and promising like its lead artist, the script and the plot points in the film were weak. Though it was salvaged to an extent with Amala Paul's performance, the movie struggles to stand on its own merit. It heavily leans on third-rated dialogues that seemed to be forced into the narrative. It helped to an extent for the character build-up and premise establishment but went overboard at certain junctures.

However, the biggest strength of the movie was in its craft. The background score and the haunting female voice segued in so well that we get into the skin of Kamini subconsciously. Also, a female lead walking nude for a good portion of the film and handling the same with finesse is no joke. Three cheers to director Rathnakumar for coming out with flying colors on this aspect alone.

There wasn't even a lewd reference during the naked portions, and everything that happened on screen was suggestive. The frames were also innovative and were showcased to narrate the story in an impactful way. For, e.g. the piece of mirror which Kamini uses to cover her nude body slips from her hand and shatters on the ground. We could see her expressions on the broken pieces. We can also realize the status of her inner self. These were the bits that I enjoyed, and I felt the craft triumphs on such aspects of storytelling.

However, the predictability and moral policing that went into the "advisory" zone towards the end was sort of a cliche. Also, it reminded me of actor and director Parthiban's "Kudaikkul Mazhai" that had a similar storyline but had a more hard-hitting impact. Sadly that movie failed miserably at the box office, thanks to Parthiban's reputation of overcooking an experiment.

Even with its flaws, the movie has touched upon critical aspects of the current societal trends concerning social media and our collective responsibility in handling the same. Peppered with political commentary and occasional digs at controversial news, the narrative was a bit of a hit and a miss but can be watched with least expectations.

Aadai, with a promising premise and power-packed performance from Amala Paul, was marred by a weak script that did not help its cause. Watchable!
Rating: 6 / 10
Baranidharan Sivasankaran