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Movie Review: Chidambarathil Oru Appasamy (2005) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 70%%70%% 70% (4 votes)
Movie Still Tamil cinema has had a number of directors who have failed to deliver on the promise they showed in their first film. But the most disappointing among such directors has to be Thankar Bachan. His first film Azhagi (without its unwanted comedy track and item number) was a subtle exploration of unfulfilled dreams. It beautifully portrayed the clash between the past and the present as a man battled between past love and present responsibilities and a woman tried to forget the past and survive in the present. But his latest feature Chidambarathil Oru Appasamy is loud, drawn-out, irritating and eventually pointless.

Ilangovan(Thankar Bachan) is the father of two children but hasn't learned the first thing about responsibility. He rarely goes to the school where he works as a teacher, neglects his family and spends his time drinking and gambling with his friends. So its upto his wife Thenmozhi(Navya Nair) to run the household - which she does by running up debts. Ilangovan's family is overjoyed when he decides to go to Sabarimalai but face neglect of a different kind when he comes back. The trip sends him to the other extreme and he dedicates himself to religion after his return.

Chidambarathil Oru Appasamy is cleanly divided into three phases - the first chronicles Thankar's irresponsibility, the second portrays his obsession with religion and the third captures his wish to be accepted by his family again. So it looks like the story has enough meat since there have been interesting movies made from a lot less. But each of the three segments here drags on seemingly interminably. The story might have made a good short film but Thankar just doesn't have enough material for a two and a half hour movie.

Out of the three segments, the first one is by far the worst. In order to show the protagonist's lack of responsibility, Thankar sinks real low with cheap comedy and an item number. It is an ordeal to sit through these portions as Thankar frolics in the pool with foreigners, takes potshots at actors and cracks loud jokes with his group of friends. The scenes with Navya come as a relief. Though she loses some of the sympathy too. Sure she has to run the household singlehandedly. But unlike us, she doesn't have to watch her husband goofing around!

Each movie of Thangar has been less subtle compared to his previous effort and Chidambarathil Oru Appasamy is almost a lesson in the lack of subtlety. Every point is drilled in over and over again until we are ready to scream "Enough!". Thankar just doesn't seem to believe in conveying things with tact. His method is to pound it in with brute force. Thats what happens in the second and third segments as the same point is driven in one scene after the other. There are a few scenes that convey the depth of his obsession or his sincerity after being reformed. But the rest of the scenes just seem like filler.

Its not easy seeing portly Thankar on the screen but the consolation is that he doesn't try to play a regular hero with fights, dancing, etc. He fits the role well. Navya Nair is superb. She plays someone who loves her husband inspite of his shortcomings but just wishes he would become more responsible. She brings the harried housewife to life and is immensely believable whether getting her kids ready for school or shouting at Thankar in a fit of anger. 'Pyramid' Natrajan and R.Sundarrajan are good as the people who care about Thankar but have had enough of him.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam