Leukos Films Pvt Ltd & Abbas Mastan's latest offering, Evano Oruvan (Someone), directed by Nishikanth Kamat and the Tamil version of the Marathi trendsetter Dombivli Fast, asks certain pertinent questions that usually crop up at least a dozen times in every normal man's day -- but are never given their due.
Sridhar Vasudevan (R Madhavan) is your average, lower middleclass Chennaiite: he stretches awake in the morning to the aroma of his wife cooking in the kitchen and uncooperative children lolling in bed in their tiny house. He dresses and chugs to the bank on the local trains from Pazhavanthangal to the Beach Station. Thumbing money and checking documents all day, he eats an unappetizing but filling box of curd-rice in the afternoons, returns home in the evenings to feed his daughter and goes to bed at 11 pm.
And the routine goes on. Mundane but then that's life.
However, his wife is not satisfied. Sangeetha, in a marvelously natural role, is only too aware of all the things they could have and don't -- because of her husband's principles.
After all, Sridhar Vasudevan cannot countenance the wrongness permeating everyday life -- from bribing the water-seller to 'adjusting' documents for a rich client of the bank he works in.
Matters reach a pitch when their daughter Varsha is refused admission into a school because of a little matter of donation -- and Sridhar Vasudevan is suddenly left with a searing sense of injustice at a society which is filled with so many means of looting that there's simply no escape for the common man who wishes to live a guileless life.
Confronted by a scornful shopkeeper who unjustly demands two more rupees for a cola -- his control snaps and mayhem begins.
As the mild-mannered I-mind-my-business-you-mind-yours working male, Madhavan shines. The sheer monotony of his life strikes you and you end up marveling at his amazing control in pulling through every single day. You are touched by his kindness to a roadside artist, irritated at his non-compliance to today's life -- and when he bashes a shop, you can't help but shout in joy. The scenes where the media hypes up the phenomenon is genuinely funny in a few places, but makes you wonder if it's really all that realistic.
Mrs Vasudevan (Sangeetha) raves and rants at her husband in the beginning -- but later, as she crumples in a heap, consumed with worry over him -- she shows a concerned side to the otherwise average housewife that tugs your heart.
Vetrimaran (Director Seeman) is another well-etched protagonist. As the rugged inspector with a heart of gold he's quite marvelous. You just wish he didn't have to mouth so many platitudes, though. His diction and body language are perfection.
The climax is everything it should be. Powerful, yet poignant, this is where Madhavan really scores.
None of the characters in the movie are introduced in the first half by name -- it's a conscious decision, to infuse the idea of anonymity of a single man just swallowed up by the masses of a cosmopolitan city. And it works, wiping out any resemblance to the glitzy Anniyan.
Sanjay Jadav's cinematography showcases Chennai in all its glory.
Sameer's background score mercifully doesn't intrude on your viewing experience. And but for one song, penned by Na Muthukumar, you are released from the agony of senseless item numbers.
Amith Pawar's editing could have been slicker -- there are too many pauses towards the middle of the film.
The screenplay ought to have been tightened, too. Madhavan's dialogues, though (he's translated them from the original Marathi) are sufficiently free of clichés, which actually make you sit up and think about the issue addressed.
For a shot of realism, this is a must-watch.