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Movie Review: Englishkaran (2005) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 78%%78%% 78% (26 votes)
Movie Still Satyaraj showed us with both Mahaanadigan and Adithadi, exactly how a director should use him. He needed a director who understood the actor's strengths(nakkal dialog delivery and willingness to take potshots at anything/anyone) and weaved stories that capitalized on those strengths(i.e stories weak on logic and realism but strong on satire and spoofs). For exactly half the movie Shakti Chidambaram(the director of Mahaanadigan) looks like he understands this. But he then takes the movie in a direction that causes it to crash and burn rather spectacularly.

Sandhya(Madhumita) is a good singer with ambitions of making it big in the music world. But her old-fashioned dad('Kaadhal' Dandayudhapani), who believes that a woman's only duty is to be a housewife who keeps her husband satisfied, forbids her from singing and spoils every chance that comes her way. Siva(Siva Balaji),Sandhya's classmate in college, is in love with her. Tamizharasan(Satyaraj) enters Sandhya's house and begins to compete with Siva for her attention. Meanwhile, ex-MLA Angalaparameswari(Ishwarya) wants Sandhya to be married to her son since Sandhya insulted her son.

The director gets the story right initially. With Satyaraj irritating Madhumita, competing with Siva and fooling around with Vadivelu, there are enough opportunities for Satyaraj to indulge in his brand of nakkal and lollu. And unlike in Mahaanadigan, the sequences here are mostly spoofs rather than personal attacks and that makes them funnier. The takeoffs on Chandramukhi and 7G Rainbow Colony are the funniest but there several other scenes and pieces of dialog that find their mark. Simbhu, Dhanush, S.J.Suryah - none are spared as something from all their movies is made fun of. Ofcourse, social happenings like fake godmen and politicians' insistence on Tamil aren't left untouched either.

Namitha, who is almost all flesh, is supposed to be an athlete here. Not since Sangamam has a heroine been so unsuited to the role she portrays on screen. It is obvious that it takes a great effort for Namitha to run even a short distance and absolutely no one would mistake her to be a sprinter after watching her run. It soon becomes clear that the running is simply an excuse to let her wear tight pants, shorts and sports bras and run(which is voyeuristically captured from a lot of different angles). The entire portion of the film she appears in is incredibly vulgar and a big reason why the movie collapses in the second half.

After a fun first half, it is amazing that almost all the steps the direcctor takes in the second half are wrong. He ofcourse deserves the blame for the vulgarity since Namitha was simply doing what he asked her to do. He changes the tone of the movie from lighthearted to serious, thereby robbing Satyaraj of opportunities to have some fun. And he removes all signs of logic from the story in the attempt to add some sentiments and drive home a message. For instance, a mother-in-law's plans to get her daughter-in-law to slip on some oil and fall in the hope that she will then become bedridden and be ready to bear children!

But Shakti Chidambaram does earn some brownie points for trying to convey a valid and topical message(even if he does hit you on the head with it with no subtlety with all those shots of parents trampling on the dreams of their kids). The message is that parents should allow their kids to choose a profession of their choice and it is conveyed well by Satyaraj in his short speech near the end.

Satyaraj is on autopilot as he has been in his recent movies. He has proved that he is only as good as the script and so enjoys himself in the first half. Madhumita looks pretty and makes us glad she has more screen time than Namita. But even she is forced to participate in a duet with skimpy clothing. Siva Balaji does his job. Vadivelu is quite ineffective whether he is teamed up with Satyaraj or part of independent comedy sequences. Ishwarya uses her voice to good effect before her role is cut short in a rather rushed manner.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam