Endravathu Oru Naal Movie Review: Good intentions alone don’t make a film
Remya and Raghavan deliver one of their better performances, but there is only so much that actors can do when the writing is shallow
Tragedies are impactful when the pathos hits you unannounced when the loss of the protagonist feels personal. Endravathu Oru Naal fails to achieve both and ends up being a tedious watch, despite decent performances from the leads. The character journeys are predictable here. A couple raising cattle as their children, farmers taking up a 100-day employment scheme to meet ends, and underage children forced into work… These angles aren’t new to cinema. It doesn’t help the predictability of this film that we saw similar storylines in Samuthirakani's Vellai Yaanai and Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum just recently.
Cast: Vidharth, Remya Nambeesan, Master Raghavan
Director: Vetri Duraisamy
Streaming On: ZEE5
Suffering can perhaps be said to be a common emotion through this film. The kindest of people go through the harshest situations in the film, but there is hardly any redemption. Whenever Rasathi (Remya Nambeesan) and her son Murugan (Master Raghavan) hit a roadblock and reach out for help, we know a helping hand won’t be coming, and that their only way is further down. One might argue this is intentional, of course, in order to mirror the plight of farmers in real life. But these series of redundant unfortunate events inflict numbness when they happen over and over again. Composer Raghunanthan attempts to sell the melancholy with his ‘sad’ violin background score, but this only adds to the tedium.
The story revolves around minimal characters in limited locations. The same people meet each other, and their exchanges feel repetitive too. The abduction of the bulls by a money lender is a major plot point of this film and triggers the journey of our protagonists. Ideally, these bulls, perhaps like in Raame Aandalum… should have been treated as lead characters, but they are reduced to props here.
ALSO READ || A Quiet Place Part II Movie Review: An engaging sequel that’s as taut as first part
The saving grace of this film is its portrayal of the grey shade. Even the antagonists aren't blatantly evil. The local moneylender apologises for his misdeed, and the agent who extracts work from the juveniles doesn't go overboard in his abuse of the children. I also liked the way Thanga Muthu's character is written and would have loved to see more of him. Remya and Raghavan deliver one of their better performances, but there is only so much that actors can do when the writing is shallow.
Week in and week out, we see films that show the plight of farmers, trying to rescue their land and cattle. Perhaps it’s time we got some films focussed on the plight of audiences subjected to repetitive stories.