"Ellam Avan Seyal," mutters the film's hero every few seconds, and as you watch R K Arts' Tamil movie of the same name, you wonder exactly what quirky stroke of cosmic force persuaded you to watch this one as well. But it's not all bad; this is a Shaji Kailas movie after all and one that's based on the Malayalam hit Chintamani Kola Case, to boot.
But that's post-interval and before that, you've got to endure many fireworks (literally) as the hero, advocate Laxman Krishna aka LK (RK, the financier of the movie in a lead role), walks menacingly across factory floors, raising small sparks, wears his well oiled hair with one large curl on his forehead and struts around in his too-large black robes.
Why the need to sport the same robes even while he decimates his evil clients is revealed soon: he needs to fly around like Neo of Matrix during the fight scenes and what better than to have black robes as a sort of rudder to help with the balance? Of course, he also looks like a mad wizard from Harry Potter as he flaps around like a large black insect but that's beside the point.
Having successfully pocketed his clients' fees, and then done away with them, LK irks his uncle, Visu (another man permanently relegated to the role of a lawyer) but has the full support of sister Suganya, who, for some reason, looks quite insane with her slow dialogue-delivery and zombie-like demeanour. Occasionally, he also delivers lectures on religion, spirituality, the need to be loyal to your guru, thereby ensuring that he's really quite a good man like the Lord Krishna of yore, forced to put up with public disapproval to rid the earth of bad elements. The only thing that offers relief is Vandu Murugan's (Vadivelu) comic antics in his efforts to become a politician. Meantime, CBCD officer Jagadeeswaran (Raghuvaran in his last role) is also on LK's track.
Just as you think you cannot endure any more of this commercial mix, arrives naive Chinthamani (Bama), a rural girl who, along with her father Veeramani (Manivannan) dreams of becoming a doctor at a prestigious Medical School. Through an ominous flashback, LK reveals her lack of funds, her achievement of a seat on merit and her terror at undergoing the ragging meted out by the school's Mirchi girls -- a laughing, venomous pack of NRI girls who have too much money for their own good, and whose intimidation tactics leave you quite nauseated.
Chinthamani's story, however, is quite engaging. After a night of horrific ragging the girl is found murdered, and LK takes over the case with practised ease against prosecutor Anbukkarasu (Ashish Vidhyarthi). And it is only at this point that the movie regains some lost ground with its courtroom scenes and legal battles.
RK, who's doing a full-length hero role obviously cherishes huge ambitions (like many before him) to become the next Superstar, perhaps. His mannerisms, however, are more productive of laughter. And it's only in the courtroom scenes does he actually do some work.
Bama, as the naive, terrified student fits the bill. The others consisting of Manivannan, Roja, Manoj K Jeyan thankfully add interesting shades to a predominantly RK movie.
You can't help wishing that Shaji Kailas, though, had cut out the extraneous bits and just presented us with a taut murder mystery, as this one undoubtedly has the potential to be one. But the real point is that as RK's supplied the dough, he can be Neo, Anakin Skywalker and the Terminator all rolled into one, and who dare question him?