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Film Review 'Enai Nokki Paayum Thota': Dhanush is the saving grace of this layered love story
Enai Nokki Paayum Thota marks Gautam Vasudev Menon’s collaboration with Dhanush, whose career graph is on an all-time high with releases like Vada Chennai and Asuran this year.
As both the lead actor and the director have distinct styles and are known for their craft, there was a lot of curiosity among film buffs to see if there is alchemy or an explosion when the two come together.
After two and a half hours in the theatre, we’re still not sure about the answer to that.
The basic premise is simple enough. Raghu (Dhanush), a final year engineering graduate from Pollachi who is studying in Chennai, falls for Lekha (Megha Akash), a pretty debutante actress, who is shooting on his campus. Like all Gautham Menon films, it is love at first sight. Raghu learns that Lekha is an orphan who was raised by her guardian Kuberan (Senthil Veerasamy), the producer of her debut film and a gangster dealing in arms. Lekha is not interested in acting, and runs away with Raghu to Pollachi to stay with his family. However, Kuberan hunts Lekha down, and the lovers are separated. Romance is GVM’s forte, and the first 45 minutes of the film draw viewers into their intense love story. However, the next 100 minutes see both the plot and the continuity of the film unravel a bit.
The story moves forward to four years, where Raghu gets a call from Lekha asking him to come to Mumbai saying that his (Raghu’s) estranged brother Thirumal Muthaiah (Sasikumar), is in trouble. From then on, the film gives us a deja-vu of not only Gautham’s previous film Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada (AYM) but also borrows from his cop trilogies Kaakha Kaakha, Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu and Yennai Arindhaal. The storyline becomes familiar (dates back to Rajinikanth’s 1978 release Priya, where the heroine is exploited by her producer and hero Ganesh helps her come out of her problems). The entire second half is about Raghu’s struggles in Mumbai and how he emerges out of it. The budget issues are evident throughout the film, where single sequences have Dhanush sporting different looks. For instance, in a couple of scenes, including the Maruvaarthai Pesaadhe song, his beard and moustache change styles and lengths. Gautham’s films are known for their voiceovers that conveys the audience the hidden layers of the film in a beautiful manner. However, in ENPT, the voiceover is one of the disadvantages as you start to get the feeling that there are more voiceovers than dialogues in the film.
Though the story revolves around Megha Akash, who has put up a decent performance, it is Dhanush, who is the saving grace of the movie. Darbuka Shiva’s background music is yet another highlight in the film. However, a stark issue is the lack of visual consistency, and that’s because three different cinematographers have worked in the film (Jomon T John, Manoj Paramahamsa and SR Kathir). Is it worth a watch? Only if you’re either a Dhanush fan, or you’re looking for vintage GVM romance, but for both, be prepared to overlook a weak plot.
Enai Nokki Paayum Thota
Cast: Dhanush, Megha Akash, Sasikumar, Senthil Veerasamy, Sunainaa and Vela Ramamurthy
Director: Gautham Menon
Music director: Darbuka Siva
Synopsis: An engineering student and an actress fall in love, only to part due to circumstances. What happens when he gets a call from her after four years?