Ezhumin Reivew: A passable blend of Karate Kid and Raja Chinna Roja
A near-decent children's sports drama saved by the performance of Vivekh
Sports and children's films are the two genres that have never really gone out of trend in cinema. Despite a usually predictable storyline, films from these genres always manage to draw a sizeable crowd to the theatres. Producer-turned-filmmaker VP Viji has tried to his cash in on these safe zones by making a sports film, with a bunch of kids, who are experts in martial arts.
Ezhumin is a story of six talented kids who aim to make it big at the National-level martial arts tournament. Aided by well-wisher and guardian angel, Vishwanathan (Vivekh), the kids overcome odds and head to the nationals, only to get kidnapped by a bunch of goons headed by the money-minded sports academy president, Sundaram. The rest of the story is about how these Davids take on the Goliaths.
Cast: Vivekh, Devayani, Praveen, Sirjith, Vinith, Sugesh, Kirthika, Deepika
Director: VP Viji
Establishing an emotional connect with the audience and creating empathy for the actors is the key to success for any sports film. But Ezhumin fails badly here, as it has too many kids trying to take centre stage; there's hardly any scene that establishes the uniqueness of the characters. Despite casting a bunch of kids who seem trained in martial arts, the story not having a strong antagonist, makes all the intense practise sessions backed by heavy guitar scores feel like extended gym commercials.
Considering that the film is promoted as a tribute to children who get trained in martial arts and their parents who support them, it would've been par for the course to have realistic stunt blocks. However, towards the climax, we are offered visuals of a seven-year-old boy sending the fighters airborne with a bicycle kick. Such creative liberties mar the purpose of the film.
The biggest problem of Ezhumin is the jerky shifts in storyline, especially in the second half. After kindling expectations about the national tournament for all of the first half, the film suddenly gets confined to a warehouse. Though the escape plan of the kids vaguely reminds us of the classic, Raja Chinna Roja, the execution isn't half as engaging.
The saving grace of the film is Vivekh, who delivers a solid performance as the gold-hearted Vishwanath. In a way, we can say Ezhumin marks his comeback to what he does best. The actor in him wins over the comedian in several places and he steals the show effortlessly with the emotional scenes that remind us of his unforgettable roles like Mano in Parthiban Kanavu, Kuzhandhaisamy in Perazhagan and Chaari in Anniyan.
On the whole, Ezhumin gives us an experience akin to watching our kids perform in a stage play. Though the story isn't flawless, the acting isn't world class and the production value isn't that great, as the curtain goes down, we cheer for them, forgetting the blemishes because we know that the kids have done their best.