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AADUKALAM MOVIE REVIEW
by : Behindwoods review board
Dhanush, Jayabalan, Kishore, Tapasee
GV Prakash Kumar
Polladhavan combination of director Vetrimaaran,
music director G V Prakash and cinematographer
Velraj with Dhanush and Kishore is back
once again in one of the first releases
of 2011. In Aadukalam, Vetrimaaran takes
to Madurai backdrop and rooster fights
to tell his story in a distinct manner
which makes his enterprise stand out tall
and high from the rest of the crop.
Resorting to rural milieu is not something uncommon
in Tamil cinema but the director has justified the
usage of his premise ably. Having said that, he has
employed myriad human emotions like unquestionable
trust and the breach of it, loyalty, pain, anguish,
manipulation and remorse to convey his tale.
Rearing roosters, maintaining them and using them
for fights is a way of life and a matter of honor
and lifeline to many people. In such a tenement, Pettaikaarar
(Jayabalan) leads a very respectable life with his
key aides Durai (Kishore) and Karuppu (Dhanush) along
with others. His main adversary in rooster fights
is Rathinam, the police inspector. Pettaikaarar is
known to have an impeccable track record of successes
when it comes to rooster fights especially with Rathinam’s.
In an unexpected situation, Pettaikaarar challenges
Rathinam to a cockeral fight which witnesses Karuppu
violating his mentor Pettaikaarar’s word but
emerging successfully with enviable proceeds. This
results in the swelling of his status among his folks
which plants the seeds of animosity in the minds of
Pettaikaarar. Rest of Aadukalam travels on an unexpected
path with twists and turns highlighting on the way
the multiple layers of human emotions with sense playing
The major plus point of Aadukalam is its strength
in characterization. Nowhere in the film will you
find the characters oscillating. Vetrimaaran proves
that he is after all an adept raconteur with an eye
for details. Every scene substantiates his efforts.
The amount of detailing especially pertaining to the
roosters needs plaudits which incidentally justifies
the long period in making.
It will be an understatement to say Dhanush steals
the show as the actor has lived the role of Karuppu.
What a multitude of expressions in a single twitch
of muscle or in a raised eyebrow? It is a visual treat
to watch the talented lad perform be it the love that
he feels towards Tapasee or the rambunctious jive
he breaks into when she declares her love for him
or the pain he feels when Jayabalan treats him badly
or his regret when he loses his mom or the anguish
on discovering betrayal. Dhanush is a revelation and
makes you wonder if anyone else could have done justice
to this role.
Jayabalan, the Tamil poet as the Pettaikaarar delivers
an effective portrayal. With the right kind of expressions
and body language, he demonstrates a new type of villainy
and Radha Ravi’s voice adds strength to his
role. Tapasee Pannu as the Anglo Indian girl Irene
is adequate and portrays her role in a respect-worthy
fashion. Kishore as Durai with Samudirakkani’s
voice is valuable. Besides these, there are many small
characters that make their mark like the Pettaikaarar’s
young wife, Karuppu’s friend and so on.
G V Prakash’s music elevates Aadukalam and intensifies
the effect over the audience. Songs are rightly placed
and none of them are contrived. While Otha sollaale
makes the audience boogie, Ayyayo and Yathe Yathe’s
melody enthrals them. His BGM during the pre-interval
rooster fight slowly reaching the crescendo adds up
to the suspense quotient and the spiralling frenzy.
The action sequence in the climax is realistic and
credible. Velraj’s camera travels to nook and
corner of Madurai areas and sucks in the audience
to the film.
On the flipside, the film is a tad lengthy in the
first half and there are patches of slowness but they
are few and far between. It is evident that the director
has resorted to graphics for rooster fights to abide
by the rules of animal welfare board.
In all, Aadukalam is an attempt that requires appreciation
where the director has hacked his way through the
path less trodden with aplomb. Aadukalam reiterates
that Vetrimaaran belongs to the league of film makers
who has understood the semiotics of film making perfectly.
Verdict: A winning rooster!
GV Prakash Kumar