This film is a remake of a hit Hindi language thriller, A Wednesday. A lot has been said about the original, especially the plot, the script, the performance and the overall gritty realistic feel. I haven’t seen it.
But judging from what I have seen here, it’s safe to say that the original is not that original at all. If you have seen the Die Hard films and the films that novelist James Ellroy has been involved in (L.A Confidential, Dark Blue, etc), you know what to expect. Just switch the political viewpoint according to the geography and you can something fresh. A pal of mine who watched this with me keep telling me that there is an interesting twist towards the end of the film that I sort of watched it with twisted mind and came out not surprised at all.
Anyway, to the film. The title roughly means “SomeoneLike You” that means a commoner which the protagonist supposed to be. Played by uber cool Kamal, he is no way a commoner. During the title scene he is shown making a bomb. And during the conversations with the commissioner (Mohanlal), he appears to be intelligent, witty, and man with tremendous knowledge who doesn’t mix his facts. Oh, and he handles a revolver like a pro. Nope, not a commoner. In fact, we got ourselves the super cool Kamal that we know from way back in the 80s. Cunning, shrewd & a masterplanning avenger, this is an updated version of Kamal in Oru Kaithiyin Diary (the daddy).
So, the rough outline of the plot. Kamal plants bomb all over the city and calls up Commisioner threatening him to release four terrorists or else…. So, its cat & mouse game and lots of politics is thrown in, and if you are Indian you are going to relate a lot to what is happening in that country, especially in Chennai (more meaningful in Bomb prone Mumbai, though).
So, you have lots of phone conversation between Kamal and Mohanlal (think In Line of Fire & Die Hard 3), and the frantic Mohanlal issuing orders around to get things under control, but ultimately giving in to the callers instruction which I felt a bit too simplistic. Sure, he gets his team to investigate the caller and has two men on the field to investigate, but he gives in anyway…too soon that is.
But that is the scripts fault. I leave that to Bollywood pundits to beat each other to pulp to figure out whether or not the script is brilliant. I smell
Now performance. As I said, Kamal is cool. All he has to do is sit in front of the laptop and talk to his Bluetooth earpiece most of the time and issue instruction, stretch himself like a satisfied cat, stand by the edge of the still-under-construction building and give that demeanour of a man under control. He breaks down towards the end of the film, and wipes the tears with his revolver. Now, how cool is that?
Supporting performances were good too. Lakshmi as Chief Secretary is the typical
And now let me talk about Mohanlal, or Lal-ettan as his fans call him. Unlike Kamal’s character who speaks to only him most of the time, Lal has to deal with lots of people and that’s not an easy task. The abovementioned Chief of Secretary, issuing orders around, dealing with an ethical hacker (his reaction to this scene is priceless), Lal’s Commissioner Maraar is the epitome of cool amidst explosion, control amidst chaos & bringer of humour amidst the tension that is thrown in our direction. And I mean laugh out loud moments. Such a treasure this man is.
Moving on. The pace seemed fast at the beginning but during the third quarter of the film I started to get dozy. The race and religion politics behind the script felt a bit tame, for if they had been more to the point the controversy itself could elevate the tension and hey, sell the movie. The right wing message of “an eye for an eye” is not new in any film industry, just ask Dirty Harry.
Oh, the background score. Handled by Kamal’s daughter, Shruti Haasan, they hardly register. In fact, the film could have benefited a lot more with very minimalist score, instead of the usual bombastic stuff you expect from Indian films.
Nothing much about cinematography which is very apt at times, and very showy in other times. Also, nothing much to say how much the director contributed, seeing he had a “good” script in his hand.
All in all, a good entertaining flick that will not disappoint Tamil film and Kamal Haasan fans. My favourite moment in that movie has shades of my favourite film comedian Goundamani’s trademark dialogues. When the commissioner asks for guarantee, Kamal responds, “Intha guarantee, warranty kodukkurathukku naan enna pressure cooker-ah?” LOL.