With a name comprising the first few letters of the alphabet, there's precious little you expect from the makers and the movie -- it's only the star cast that raises some mild expectations. But by the time AVM Kumaran's A Aa E Ee, directed by Sabapathy Dhakshinamurthy, rolls to an end, the only emotion you're conscious of is relief that the film has finally ended.
You get some idea of what's in store when you catch Subramaniam (Prabhu) reeling off a loud monologue about ayurveda and astrology to a motley group of foreigners who seem both amused and embarrassed at the same time. Then appears his overenthusiastic daughter Anitha (Monica), who flings her arms around daddy dearest and screeches that she loves him and has come back home from college.
She has a cousin as well, Easwari (Saranya Mohan), and together the family drowns you in syrupy silliness. And just when you think you really can't endure any more of this wishy-washiness, enters Vedhachalam (V M C Haneefa), as the ridiculously attired drunkard, who produces some genuine laughs.
Subramaniam doesn't want his daughter separated from him, and decides to get her married to Vedachalam's goody-goody son Ilango (Arvind), who's bent on reclaiming all the assets lost by his wayward father, and is the darling of his grandmother (Manorama). You begin to take some interest in sincere Ilango's obvious infatuation with Anitha and his random songs; but when you see Easwari's first encounter with the shy Ilango, you know how things are going to end. To add to the predictable mix is Akash (Navdeep), posing problems to Anitha. Their love story is a bit engaging, as are the moments the four try to work their problems out, but all too soon, things turn mundane.
Barring Monica, who looks haggard and overacts, the others have done fairly well. Navdeep does goes overboard at times as the bubbly guy, but he at least looks the part. As does Saranya Mohan (why's this girl fated to play the second heroine all the time? It's time she got her due.) Arvind, the perpetually doomed supporting actor, does a neat job. Poor Prabhu is desperate to inspire some empathy as the loving father who will miss his daughter -- but after watching Abhiyum Naanum, this effort leaves much to be desired. Haneefa and Manorama are a delightful duo, but Kanja Karuppu, Sathyan and Vasu Vikram barely register.
Vijay Antony's songs are eminently forgettable; his background score is so loud it drowns the conversation at some places. Srinivasan's dialogues could do with some tweaking. And L Venkatrao's sets, depicting magnificence, pall on you after a while.
For a feel-good comedy, this one falls remarkably flat.