| Every director dreams of recreating his biggest hit. P.Vasu tries it in almost every
movie by trying to hit upon the Chinna Thambi
formula again. Kaadhal Kavidhai was Agathiyan's
attempt to clone Kaadhal Koattai after a few
of his movies flopped. Sundar C is no exception and with Azhagaana Naatkal,
he tries to duplicate the success he achieved with his biggest hit
Ullathai Alli Thaa. He brings together most of
the cast and instils the movie with the same kind of silly chaos that was so
effective in that. Though the ploy works and the movie is quite funny, we end up
getting a feeling of 'been there seen that' by the time its over.
Chandru(Karthik) agrees to wed Rekha(Mumtaj) after his dad(Manivannan) and elder
brother(Rajeev) convince him that it will be best for their business. But after
the wedding has been finalised, Indu(Rambha) appears out of the blue with a child
in tow and charges Chandru with being the father of the child. Turns out that
Chandru and Indu were lovers before but had been separated by force of circumstances.
Chandru desperately tries to prove his innocence while Indu begins to be accepted by
his family members.
Sundar C makes it apparent in almost every frame that he is trying to recapture
the atmosphere of Ullathai Alli Thaa. The basic formula of a large group of
people with individual agendas, leading to a number of separate tracks with tenuous
links to each other, are present here too. Here the two main tracks are Karthik trying
to trap Rambha into telling the truth and Koundamani suspecting his wife of having an
affair with Karthik. The former works only at places with most of the ruses(like his
recording her confession) ending in a predictable fasion. The sequence with Pandiarajan
is one that works. Koundamani's track contains most of the laughs with sequences
being fashioned quite cleverly to confirm his suspicions about his wife and Karthik.
The sequences where Karthik changes his dress inside the car and plans his wedding(with
Koundamani misinterpreting the lines) are the top picks.
The number of tracks increases as the movie proceeds to culminate in a suitably
chaotic climax. Fortunately, the climax also turns out to be the most hilarious
segment of Azhagaana Naatkal. The host of kidnappings in similar-looking
cars sets up a potentially confusing situation but the chaos has been brilliantly
managed through a very clever screenplay that never ceases to be funny. Several of
the one-liners here(like Koundamani's comparison of his situation to cricket) find
their mark. The frequent phone calls from Ponnambalam to 'Delhi' Ganesh and the
result of Anu Mohan's attempt to kidnap Rambha's daughter also lead to some very
funny lines and sequences.
After trying out some serious roles for a while, Karthik seems to have returned to
full length comedies with movies like Lovely and
this. But he is definitely well-suited to light-hearted affairs and his frustration
at not being able to trap Rambha is well brought out. Rambha looks thin and jaded
while Mumtaj is on hand for a couple of song sequences and then disappears. Among the
huge cast of supporting actors, 'Delhi' Ganesh makes an impression with his
expletive-laden comments(a la Vinu Chakravarthy in
Paarthen Rasithen). The kid who plays Rambha's
daughter looks cute though she doesn't have much of a role.