Onaaigal Jaakiradhai: Viewers beware
The final 20 minutes of the film wastes all the effort that went into it before
The trailer of Onaaigal Jaakiradhai promised a generic horror film. For close to three-fourths of its 125 minute runtime, the film indeed was horrific and I do not mean that in a satirical way. The film shows the depravity of the human soul and the depths it plumbs in pursuit of what it truly wants. To market a film as a horror thriller and provide such a turn might be termed by some as a cheap ploy but I guess all is fair in cinema if it hits home.
Cast: Kabali Viswanth, Rythvika, Baby Amrutha, Krishnaraj, Venkatesh
The plot is quite simple. A ragtag gang of four each have their problems in life and each of them needs money. One needs it for his father's surgery, another to close a loan he borrowed from an usurer, the third for his daughter's future and the final member to ensure that the lie of him being a rich businessman lives on. This liar is played by the protagonist Azhagu (Kabali Viswanth) whose sister and brother-in-law have a daughter named Anjali whom he dotes on. Despite this, Viswanth lusts after the couple's money and sees kidnapping his niece as an easy way to solve all their (the group of four) problems in one go. That Anjali was born after 16 years of marriage to her parents makes them an easy soft target. The twist comes when we are shown how greed manifests itself in the minds of the kidnappers, after they realise how desperate the parents really are to see their daughter.
Unfortunately for the film, the shifting sands approach employed in the minds of kidnappers does not stay there and instead seeps into the actual writing and we are given an ending fully replete with talismans and sanctum sanctorum rules followed by ghosts. The theatre broke out into unintentional laughter the moment they saw the face of a ghost with chalk makeup and I couldn't help wonder if the message that the director had built up slowly was utterly decimated with that farcical climax. It is not like the film is not without any other problems, what with low angle shots and arc shots and aerial shots abused to an absurdly high degree that you keep wondering if the director and the cinematographer just wanted to use them for the sake of it. The deliberate pacing of the film also doesn't help. As we were leaving the theatre, one audience member wondered out loud if it were a tele-film instead of a feature film. There is a saying from Game of Thrones that goes, "The lone wolf dies and the pack survives" and I have to say that this wolf could have survived if it was pack-aged better.