Release Date : Apr 18,2014
Tenaliraman (aka) Jagajala Pujabala Thenaliraman review
Review by : Behindwoods Review Board
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Production: AGS Entertainment
Cast: Manobala, Meenakshi Dixit, Santhana Bharathi, Vadivelu
Direction: Yuvaraj Dhayalan
Screenplay: Yuvaraj Dhayalan
Story: Yuvaraj Dhayalan
Music: D. Imman
Background score: D. Imman
Cinematography: Ramnath Shetti
Dialogues: Aroordoss
Editing: Raja Mohammed
Art direction: Prabhakar
Dance choreography: Brinda, Siva Sankar
PRO: Nikhil Murugan

Vaigai Puyal Vadivelu returns after a brief hiatus to silver screens and to what he does best, entertaining the audience. However, in this Yuvaraj directed comeback vehicle, it is a historical theme for the comedian and in a double role as a king and his minister Tenali Raman.

The story of Tenali Raman and his brainpower is familiar to quite a few and Yuvaraj has translated some of them interestingly on to the silver screen. In fact, those episodes look good on screen and dialogues from Vadivelu’s old films have been intelligently interspersed.

The delineation of the two characters has been brought out well by the veteran who with his adept body language brings out the intelligence and innocence of the minister and his king respectively. An interesting observation is that nowhere in the film is the king named and one gets to hear ‘mannar’ or ‘arasar’ only.

Out of the two Vadivelus, the king with his ingenuousness and a unique forked eyebrows appeals well while Tenali Raman with his intellect captivates the audience.

Although the film has its premise dating to the monarchial times, the problems that people face in the kingdom are contemporary. Yuvaraj does not lose an opportunity to take a dig at the corrupted ministers who focus on swindling money and depriving people of the benefits due to them. Foreign investment is very severely criticized and its negative effects on the kingdom have been showcased with a Chinese team’s infiltration.

However if you are anticipating a Vadivelu laughathon, Tenali Raman comes as a downer as the film travels on a serious path most of the time with an occasional chuckle here and there. The spunk and wit that you associate with any of Vadivelu’s products are found wanting here, perhaps because of the solemn nature of the premise.  

Meenakshi Dixit as Princess Maadhulai has done her job adequately. There is a battalion of supporting cast in the name of Mano Bala, Radha Ravi, Krishnamurthy, Divya Darshini, Rajesh, Bala Singh to name a few. All of them have been adequate in their performance.

Imman’s Aanazhaga is lilting while the other tracks don’t linger on longer. His BGM conveys the retro feel well. Colorful costumes, typical of the period mark Tenali Raman which paint the screen multihued.  Art director M Prabhakaran is successful in bringing the feel of the premise while cinematographer Ramnath Shetty proves valuable in his department.

The episode of Tenali Ramans’s accomplice when he gets caught is left unexplained. And in the second half, after a while, situations seem to get into an auto resolve mood and get cleared without any powerful opposition.  The engaging factor of the film is also not uniform and the predictability of the story does not help it either.

In all, Tenali Raman, as a standalone film, may find patrons in family audiences and children and may come across as a welcome break for vacation. But for ardent Vadivelu lovers, who seek his humor to de-stress, the film may work only in bits and pieces.       

Verdict: Vadivelu’s comeback vehicle works in parts.
( 2.5 / 5.0 )


Tenaliraman (aka) Jagajala Pujabala Thenaliraman

Tenaliraman (aka) Jagajala Pujabala Thenaliraman is a Tamil movie with production by AGS Entertainment, direction by Yuvaraj Dhayalan, cinematography by Ramnath Shetti, editing by Raja Mohammed. The cast of Tenaliraman (aka) Jagajala Pujabala Thenaliraman includes Manobala, Meenakshi Dixit, Santhana Bharathi, Vadivelu.