Naanga Romba Busy Movie Review: This comedy on demonetisation is bang for your buck
This remake manages to not just do justice to the original but also efficiently cater to the local audience
Those who consumed television as the prime entertainment during the 90s can never forget the majestic voice on a regional television channel that would go, "Indhiya tholaikaatchigalil mudhal muraiyaga... Thiraiku vandhu sila maadhangale aana.." This catchphrase went hand-in-hand with the festive season for more than a decade. Fast-forward to 2020, and it’s now the age of direct OTT releases, with Sun TV pretty much going "thiraikke varadha" with its launch of the TV film, Naanga Romba Busy (the last time the channel attempted such a project was 11 years ago for the Radikaa-Vikram starrer Siragugal).
Cast: Prasanna, Shaam, Ashwin Kakumanu, Yogi Babu, Shruti Marathe, Rittika Sen, VTV Ganesh
Streaming on: Sunnxt
Advertisements are par for the course and though sitting through a film for almost three hours sounds like a herculean task for today’s impatient generation that feasts on anthologies, Naanga Romba Busy is a pleasant surprise that keeps you engaged from the word go. Even the commercial breaks felt like mini-cliffhangers.
The story revolves around three men, inspector Kumaravel (Prasanna), crook Kuberan (Yogi Babu) and a happy-go-lucky youngster Karthik (Ashwin Kakumanu), who come together due to various reasons to rob black money from the corrupt during the 2016 demonetisation drive, and there’s, of course, a cop, Ravichandran (Shaam), who is out to get them. The story may sound simple and predictable, but the witty one-liners, the situational humour, and a liberal dose of good old family sentiment combine to elevate Naanga Romba Busy.
Naanga Romba Busy is a remake of the Kannada hit film Mayabazar 2016, and filmmaker Badri has done a great job in enhancing the source material (Radhakrishna Reddy) and making it thoroughly enjoyable in Tamil. For instance, when Kuberan tries to steal a bike, which stops midway, he pauses for a second and says, "Lakshmi start aidu!", a reference to Rajinikanth's taxi in Padikkadhavan. Such touches ensure that even while this remake does justice to the original, it never loses sight of catering to its local audience.
It is safe to say that director Badri has won half the game with his casting choices. Yogi Babu is fantastic and proves what he is capable of when backed by strong writing. Shaam, who plays the antagonist for the first time, pulls it off comfortably. The pick of the lot is Prasanna, who delivers a highly commendable performance as the soft, upright inspector Kumaravel. Watch out for him especially in those closeups. This is another strong showing from an actor who has shown his mettle many times over, most recently in another OTT release, Addham.
While several digital releases in recent times have been let down by amateurish post-production work, Naanga Romba Busy looks and feels like a film that would be fitting in a theatre.
Simple tales of humour have an inherent charm that insulates them from any great intellectual analysis. They are best enjoyed like a festival meal—it makes sense then that they are called ‘masala comedies’. And Naanga Romba Busy is as good as any we have got in recent times.