Avan Ivan Review

Jun 17, 2011 By Rohit Ramachandran

Bala is considered to be one of the best filmmakers working today. The reason for that is his films connect easily with the audience. He knows how to make a film work- when to play what kind of music, how to make the actors' performances get acclaim, how to shoot fight scenes without appearing exaggerated and what message will be well received. He understands the craft of filmmaking.

The truth is, he understands it on a binary level. His characters have a ball when they're happy, weep unto eternity when they're sad and, scream and growl when they're angry. He can't fine-tune a balance between the extremes. That is because… let's just say screenwriting isn't his cup of tea. He's an artisan, not an artist. On the set and in the editing room, he's very adequate but he isn't a man with imaginative ideas. Avan Ivan is adequate proof of that.

Walter Vanangamudi (Vishal) and Kumbidaren Saamy (Aarya) are stepbrothers descending from a bloodline of thievery. Walter is an aspiring actor-dancer. considered the black sheep of the family due to his (her?) inability to steal without getting caught. Kumbidaren, on the other hand, is proud of what he does and spends his recreation hours bullying women. Their foul-mouthed mothers have turned them against each other. What they do have in common though, is a wealthy and influential landlord Highness (G M Kumar), someone they are both cronies to.

Just like every Bala film, Avan Ivan is devoid of a plot. Everyone and everything in the film is laidback and the lush landscapes make you feel it. You don't know where the film's heading but you're okay with it. That is, until you realize where it is heading. Enter an unnamed villain (R K) and you see Avan Ivan treading familiar ground; it is the same trajectory followed by Pithamagan. Arya and Vishal (especially) have gone to great extents to bait award juries. The editing, cinematography and direction is professional. I use that term because filmmaking is more of a job than a passion to Bala.

Avan Ivan is easy to sit through but it isn't really a comedy despite the presence of childish humour. The only joke worth mentioning is the incompetent pixellation of a bare man's crotch. For a second, I thought it was a beehive down there.

Avan Ivan, in the end, is Vishal and Arya battling for recognition in the acting arena.

Avan Ivan, in the end, is Vishal and Arya battling for recognition in the acting arena.
Rating: 5 / 10
Rohit Ramachandran

Inconsistent, predictable story mar 'Avan Ivan'
Rating: 6 / 10
- Aravindan DI