When you have been an assistant to director Shankar, comparisons will be inevitable. Additionally, he is a product of Adyar film institute which has given our industry some of the best actor, directors and technicians. However, director Prabhu Raja Cholan should be commended for trying to make his individual mark in his debut venture.
He has set the film in a vast time frame, ranging from 1980 to 2011, a period of great technological and social changes in the world. But given that family values have not changed, the director focuses on togetherness as the underlying theme.
It's a dual role for Ajmal , who plays the roles of the Paris -based father Manohar and son Kothai Cocopardo, now a French citizen. When Manohar dies, Cocopardo wants to know more about his family and travels to India in search of his ancestral history and culture. On his journey, he meets many others, ably played by Aparna , MS Bhaskar, Srinath Jegan, Mahadevan, Devadarshini, Chetan, Ganesh and Archana Shastri. Ajmal's is a stand out performance, specially as the easy going, kind Cocoprado. Aparna as the heroine has done a commendable job as well. All in all, the actors make it easy to watch the film.
Kannan, of Tamizh Padam fame is the music director of this film, and as expected, he is pleasant on the ears. Bollywood musician Bappi Lahiri was roped in to sing for the film, and the "Naughty Raja" song rendered by him will appeal to his fans for sure. Of course, the unit tried to get Hollywood sensation Katy Perry to croon a number, but maybe singers like her are not yet ready for Kollywood.
Santhosh Sriram and Sanjeevi have handled the camera, and it is a job well done. B Lenin is always a treasure and the National award winning editor is a treat, as always. The film also had its share of controversy during its making. The director had wanted hero Ajmal to kiss Aparna Bajpai because the script demanded it, The actor refused, and then a compromise was worked out. So, does her kiss the girl? Watch the film to find out.
So, what is the story? . On his deathbed, Manohar recalls his growing up years at Karuppampatti village, and his driving ambition which drove him to go abroad, not bothering about his parents or other relatives in his native place. He even takes away property documents, pledging them to help him in his ambition to go abroad. However, with death facing him, Manohar confesses to his villainy. Moved by his father's story, Cocopardo wants to set the wrongs of the past, and he journeys to the village.
How he goes about doing that, aided by locals like Jegan forms the rest of the story.
Although it is a good subject, and the director tries to take the movie forward without too many lags, you come away feeling a bit let down. Its like ordering a sambar vadai and discovering half way through that it needs a little more spice.
Verdict : Good attempt