Cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Rakul Preet Singh, Yogi Babu, Sharad Kelkar
This year, for Pongal, there have been 4 Tamil movies released in theatres. All 4 being very distinct in their genres, moviegoers have a platter of films to choose from. Ayalaan is a science-fiction comedy film that features Sivakarthikeyan in the lead along with Yogi Babu, Rakul Preet Singh, Sharad Kelkar, and Isha Kopikkar, with Siddharth voice-over as the alien.
The movie starts off fine, we see Tamizh(SK) coming to Chennai and instantly finding Yogi Babu and the gang and in turn, a job and place to stay. When a spaceship lands in the city, an alien arrives with a mission and coincidentally finds the same gang that offers solace. The problem with the film is not that everything very conveniently falls into place, it’s how the movie keeps getting dumber by the passing minute. The first half of the movie has some funny moments, it helps you ease into the silly premise of the film. You know, from the get-go that it’s unrealistic, it’s fantasy-based.
The film is so basic in its approach, it’s disappointing. There are no layers to any character, that doesn’t even seem like a criteria for the filmmaker here. They seem to have ripped off scenes and instances from various similar-genre movies that after a point, you just cannot sit through it. It’s not easy to decipher who the movie’s target audience is. We would recommend it for kids, but a movie that’s 2 hours and 35 minutes long seems like torture to subject to the little ones.
Coming to performances, Sivakarthikeyan is a natural, his acting is quite organic. He is simple and efficient in his role, giving him hardly anything more to offer. The comic reliefs in the movie are on-point, the jokes land well and the chemistry between the gang is endearing. Rakul Preet plays the part of a ‘pretty face’ with ease, in fact, the alien is the best part of the movie. He is instantly likable, and Siddharth’s voice is the cherry on top of the cake.
The villains are caricaturish, and heavily inspired by Marvel’s Iron Man and Hulk, it just doesn’t land. They are the ‘template’ bad guys, they are greedy, irresponsible, unethical- just everything you get from a one-dimensional villain. They are ineffective and stale, their motives are cringe-worthy. A movie that does not put enough time into creating a strong antagonist loses half the battle. This movie relies heavily on the conflict of the bad guys Vs good guys, but it falls flat, and that’s their biggest downfall.
We are not convinced of the cause, both of the villain and the actor. Does SK become a superhero after the alien enters his life? Is the movie trying to make a comment on the environmental effects the earth is soon to face because of human neglect? In the first few scenes of the movie, we see the alien step foot on planet Earth and immediately get hit in the face with a flying plastic cover. That scene gave us hope that the movie might have a message at the end, but we started to lose faith in the following scenes.
Instead of releasing it for Pongal, Children’s Day would have been a more appropriate time to release this comical-childish film that seems more suited for kids than for adults. One can’t call it nonsensical either, cause they set the premise well and the storytelling is quite simple.
The cinematic experience of the movie is partially impressive. The VFX is well done, but after some time, seems forced and repetitive. What could have been easily one of the high points of the film, soon become irritating and unnecessary.
Verdict: It’s a typical leave-your-brains-out-of-the-theatre type of movie.