Director Hari has yet again proved why he remains a much sought-after director in Kollywood.
The movie, starring Sarath Kumar in a dual role (as father and son), with the rural backdrop and the right mixture of human emotions, action and romance, is sure to make it big at the box-office.
A simple straightforward story of an elderly man fighting for the cause of the village and the troubles that he encounters in his public life form the crux of the movie.
Though the story has shades of Sarath Kumar's earlier movies like Nattamai and Sooryavamsam (inevitable, isn't?), Hari's screenplay makes it engrossing.
The elder Sarath, a character seemingly an inspiration from former Chief Minister K Kamaraj, seems to have done the trick in the movie. The entire movie unfolds in a village in Tenkasi. Thanks to generous help of Ayyathurai (elder Sarath Kumar) and his friend Madasamy (Napolean), people in the village overcome a famine. However, Ayyathurai murders the local MLA for smuggling rice when they encounter famine (all these things are shown to happen in 1971).
Years roll by and Ayyaturai wins the hearts of people and becomes an independent MLA only to continue his good work for the villagers. He along with Madasamy vows to uplift the lives of the villagers.
Trouble comes in the form of Karuppusamy (Prakash Raj). Son of the MLA murdered by Ayyathurai, Karuppasamy wants to take revenge on Ayyathurai. Enters Chellathurai (junior Sarath Kumar), son of Ayyathurai. A noble hearted youth, he commands the same respect as his father in the village. He foils all plans of Karuppasamy to bump off his father. When Madasamy's daughter Selvi (Nayantara) falls in love with Chellathurai and their wedding gets arranged, Karuppasamy steps in and thanks to his tricks, the wedding is stopped.
He also hatches a conspiracy and separates Madasamy and Ayyathurai. The rest is all about the father and son striving hard to set all things in order in the village and teach Karuppasamy a lesson.
A swift screenplay sans any big heroism by Hari in this movie is the attraction. Ably supported by Bharadwaj's good musical score and Priyan's good camera work, Hari succeeds in sustaining the swift tempo all through.
It's a cakewalk for Sarath Kumar to play dual roles and he does it aplomb in Ayya too. Equally engrossing is the splendid performance of Prakash Raj in a villainous role adding strength to the film.
Sarath Kumar walks away with all honors. Especially his performance as Ayyathurai looks matured. Clad in khadi dhoti all through the movie, he reminds one of Kamaraj very much on screen. Equally engrossing is Prakash Raj's performance. He seems to have taken off from where he had left in Ghillie. His dialogue modulations and subtle variations on the screen are worth mentioning.
Nayantara playing her first film in Tamil fits the role well. Happy to see a heroine in Tamil filmdom performing on the screen. Napolean plays a brief role as Nayantara's father. Malavika appears for an item number in the movie.
The only hitch in the movie is Vadivelu's comedy that at times goes very flat. Playing a theatre owner Karasingam, Vadivelu tries desperately to evoke laughter.
Gandhimathi, Sindhu, Raj Kapoor are also in the cast.
For the producers - Kavithalaya, Ayya certainly seems to be a hat-trick following the success of Thirumalai and Saamy.