| Bharatiraja seems determined to leave no stone unturned in making his son Manoj
a leading man in the Tamil film industry. Once his own ambitious
Taj Mahal flopped, he hired Saran, who has three
substantial hits under his belt, to direct Manoj's movie. The result is
Alli Arjuna, which has finally seen the light of day. But the quality of the
product indicates that instead of increasing Manoj's stock, the movie is just
going to drag Saran's stock down.
Arivazhagan(Manoj) has grown up to be a rowdy because of neglect and ill-treatment
at the hands of his parents and his only aim in life is to be an irritant to his
father. The entire family attends the marriage of Savitri(Richa) in Bangalore
and when the groom disappears, Arivu offers to take his place. The marriage never
happens but Savitri shows up at Arivu's house later, asking him to give her refuge.
When he moves out of the house to take up residence with his friends, she follows
him there too. Initially irritated by her, Arivu realises that he is gradually
falling in love with her. Meanwhile, the friends learns that Savitri left her own
surroundings just to get over the gruesome suicide of her friend Nisha(Preetha),
a victim of eve-teasing.
For a while the movie does satisfy the anticipation raised by Saran's name on the
credits. The drama at the marriage hall and the actions of both Manoj and Richa
are fun and a little unexpected. After the cinema theater in
Amarkkalam and the PTC buses in Paarthen Rasithen, Saran once again picks
a special location for the majority of the proceedings. Here it is a disused police
station that Vinu Chakravarthy and his gang have converted as their residence.
This rather unique location, some of the ways its been put to use and the comedy there(the
nicknames, the 'dubbing' Vaiyapuri provides for Charlie,
etc.) continue the fun. Richa's flashback adds both seriousness and a dash of
suspense to the proceedings while shining light on the very serious repercussions
It is with the appearance of Ramji as the dance master that the movie begins to
derail. While the actions of Vinu Chakravarthy are silly and don't suit his
character, the fact that the episode was introduced just to make Manoj
realise his true feelings for Richa makes the entire episode inconsequential.
Richa making Manoj address her as 'sister' and Manoj's attempts to force her
to take back her words are new but not really interesting. Saran has also
attempted to introduce some shades of Sethu in
Manoj's character with his rough-and-tough approach to love but his actions
come across as artificial and silly rather than passionate.
Saran has managed to sneak in a neat little twist in his last two movies
the same here too. By taking our focus off Preetha's track, he manages to
surprise us with the twist at the end. But it is too little too late and
Manoj's final dialog just serves to remove the effectiveness of what
While this role suits Manoj a lot more than his loverboy role in
Taj Mahal, his apprearance still suggests that he would have never
become a leading man if not for his lineage. Richa Pallot is a lot more
active than in Shah Jahan. This here is
her debut though Shah Jahan made it to the theatres earlier. Karan
is his usual uncontrolled self. Saran's favorite comedy team of Vinu
Chakravarthy, Dhamu, Charlie and Vaiyapuri raise some laughs though the
rowdy who makes regular appearances to pay his dues at the bogus police
station steals the scenes whenever he appears. Saran opts for A.R.Rehman
over his usual music director Bharadwaj but ARR just serves up some more
rehashes of his old Hindi tunes.