You can hide yourself in the davy Jones Locker or stay put on the moon.
But you cannot escape from the glut of gangster movies in Tamil. Joining the long list of movies being made on gangsters is Naalai. But due credit should be given to debutant director Maheswaran for glorifying friendship and pushing violence behind in this action-packed entertainer.
Thankfully Naalai is a movie on gangsters sans major violent sequences and bloodshed. A swift screenplay and an apt narration make the movie interesting.
Richard hitherto known for playing romantic youth roles has tried his hand at action and has done a commendable job. Madhumitha plays the usual lover girl in the movie who finally sacrifices her life. But the real revealation in the movie has been cinematographer-turned-actor Nataraj Subramaniam. His dialogue delivery and good body language impresses the viewers. Nasser too plays his part well.
Two orphans Justin (Richard) and Nattu (Natraj) work as henchmen to Nair (Nasser). They are his loyal servants and both are prepared to lay their lives for their master. However a sequence of events results in Nair developing mistrust and hatred on the two. He employs another youth in their place and plans to bump them off. Eventually Justin ends up in prison and Nattu loses his leg thanks to Nair's plans .
After three years (when Justin completes his jail term ), Justin along with Nattu decides to stay away from violence and lead a peaceful life. Charu (Madhumitha), a girl next door falls in love with Justin and both decide to marry. Meanwhile a reformed Nair seeks appology to both Nattu and Justin before his death.
However when things go smooth in their lives, a previous enmity leaves Nair's henchmen making an attempt on Justin's life which eventually claims the life of Charu. The rest is all but Justin and Nattu going all guns blazing to take revenge on their enemies.
The movie has a huge star cast including Bose, Dhandapani, Bala Singh, Nirosha among others.
With Richard and Nataraj at their best, the movie manages to sustain our attention.
Karthik Raja's tunes are catchy and his re-recording adds to the momentum of the screenplay.
The movie has shades of Pattiyal, yet the gripping storyline makes it interesting.
Job well done, Maheswaran.