Inayathalam: A bad film with a good heart
While the film wants us to question our obsession with social media, we end up questioning our decision to watch this film
The advent of social media, and the way it has been embraced by the Indian audience has been remarkable, but has it truly been for the better? This is the basic question that Inayathalam wants you to take home. But the way it constructs the narrative to say this is very amateurish. The film reeks of low production values and Ganesh Venkatram's attempts to flex his well-toned muscles comes across as staged on the big screen. Also the introduction of a key character leading into the climax, and the stunts that follow, unintendedly induce laughter.
About the film's song placements...lesser said, the better. A death has taken place, and not only are the actors stony in their expressions, but we immediately cut to a kid's birthday celebrations, and her mother breaks out into a song. Shwetha Menon, who plays the kid's mother and is also one of the leads of the film, has a sister who stammers but plays veena like a dream. Towards the end, the sister takes over, and someone wryly comments, "Iva pesinaalum thikkudhu, vaasichaalum thikkudhu". It appears that her character was created only as a setup for this 'punchline'. Oh and also for the romantic song which immediately follows this insult, when Ganapathy (Erode Mahesh) steps in and saves the day, by playing the veena, and thus, saves her dignity. No, you did not read that wrong. Erode Mahesh is one of the lead characters, and you'll know him for his failed one-liners, and wooden dialogue delivery.
The only thing that keeps you in the seats for much of the film is the story, which, as you may have guessed from the trailer, is about how the average human is basically a sadist who will do anything for likes and retweets, including indulging in controversies galore. So we see the mystery killer webcast on a site with the heading Vellalaam Vaanga (Come, let's win) in which, the more the viewer count, the faster the victim will die. The killer bets that humans would gladly partake in the killing of a fellow human as long as their curiosity is satiated, and every single time the bet comes good. We get many a sermon on this topic, chiefly from Ganesh, and there is a lot of exposition on everything internet given by Erode mahesh. YG Mahendra, after listening to one such, tells him he does not want to hear all this technical stuff and only wants results. Well, makers of Inayathalam, I wish you had listened to YG Mahendra and cut down on all extraneous details and given us the film that you actually wanted us to see.