Film: "Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer"; Cast: Santosh Ramesh, Manisha Yadav, Poornima Jayaram, Jayaprakash, Thulasi and Arjun; Director: Suseenthiran; Rating: ***
Tamil cinema has always turned a blind eye to social problems such as honour killing, incest and even same-sex marriage for a very simple reason that such subjects might not click at the box-office.
Breaking away from the aforementioned outlook, director Suseenthiran crafts an intelligent and bold story about hormone-driven teenage romance. He makes us look at a domestic issue through the young eyes of his protagonists who stand testimonial to modern-day generation.
Suseenthiran handles the film bravely without compromising on the message it sets out to deliver to its audiences. Any story dealing with a social problem is either extremely preachy or overtly melodramatic, but what we get here is an intelligent output sans cliches. Kudos to the director for writing and narrating an impactful story.
"Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer" (AKS) is a campus love story of two youngsters and how their immature love gets convoluted by various other factors, which impact not only them but also others. In only one hour and 46 minutes, which is the film's biggest plus, AKS is an honest effort backed by natural performances.
The intermittent laughs in the first half are a delight, while the slowed-down narration post-interval may not be entertaining but definitely piques the viewers emotionally. There are scenes, especially in the second half, that persuade you to slip into the shoes of the lead characters.
In essence, it makes you empathize with the characters till the end.
The film doesn't present a chauvinistic view of the issue, but highlights how carelessly youngsters take decisions in life without even an iota of guilt or responsibility. It also presents a viewpoint of the elders.
To top it all, AKS has a very powerful and unexpected climax to send us back home with a heavy heart. This is only to remind us about the harsh realities of our society and how we have been living amidst all this.
The film would've been appreciated with a better lead cast as Manisha and Ramesh deliver amateurish performance. Of the two, Manisha was far better but Ramesh, on the other hand, turned out to be unimpressive.
Jayaprakash and Thulasi as Manisha's parents portray a very polished and emotional performance. Their scenes in the second half weave a strong emotional bond with audiences. Arjun as the lead pair's friend ensures some laughs even in the most serious scenes.
Music by Yuvan Shankar Raja is a bonus, while editing by Anthony is definitely a blessing. With most Tamil films clocking nearly three hours, to make a film that addresses a domestic problem with unparalleled compassion in less than two hours is an achievement.