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AADAI MOVIE REVIEW

Review By : Movie Run Time : 2 hours 23 minutes Censor Rating : A

AADAI CAST & CREW
Production: V Studios Cast: Amala Paul, Ramya Subramanian Direction: Rathna Kumar Screenplay: Rathnakumar Story: Rathnakumar Music: Pradeep Kumar Background score: Pradeep Kumar Cinematography: Vijay Kartik Kannan Dialogues: Rathnakumar Editing: Shafique Mohamed Ali

After a light-hearted romance like 'Meyaadha Maan', director Rathna Kumar's sophomore effort, 'Aadai' is a complete deviant, not only in terms of the filmmaker's body of work but also in its form and the brutal honesty it carries. 'Aadai' is a quantum leap in the director's filmography.

'Aadai' opens with the folklore of Nangeli, and the film is partly metaphorical to that tale, as we see our protagonist Kamini (played by Amala Paul), a brash woman with a penchant for bets. She runs a prank show 'Thoppi' that makes fun of unassuming people in a relentless manner (in one of the pranks, she dresses up as Harley Quinn, the lunatic supervillain, that might be considered as Kamini's alter ego). The initial sequences are more perfunctory and showcase the rebellious nature of Kamini, that often borders on arrogance.

The film's initial moments delves more into the dynamic between Kamini and her bunch who runs the prank show. But things take a mad turn when they attempt to spend a night on their vacant workplace. A drug-fuelled trip ensues, only to discover that in the next day, Kamini is left to fend for herself. The film unfolds like a literal nightmare where an individual has to battle out her vulnerability. The element of a survival thriller kicks in as we are engulfed into racy moments.

Kamini gets pushed to her limits, where she catches the eye of a lecherous man from a distant building (ironically the person's ringtone is 'manidhi'). The film throws hurdle after hurdle and the constructs mirror the partly-sadistic nature of Kamini too, that was reflected during the prank show scenes. The film scrutinizes the protagonist by putting her in tougher hurdles.

What makes Aadai more universal is the film's basic conceit, that taps into a human being's general fear for naked-ness. As a result, the threat faced by her feels more real and visceral. There are lighter moments interspersed in the film (especially during the sequence where a bunch of bumbling policemen arrives at the place, based on a tip from two attention-seeking men). The film has a lot of tense moments that are punctuated by humour.

Rathna Kumar displays a lot of sensitivity whilst portraying the nudity, as the makers do not exploit it for the sake of titillation. Amala Paul flawlessly executes the mammoth task of shouldering the film's intensity. She breathes life into Kamini, during the character's lighter and heavier moments. One of the most surprising aspects of the film is the satisfying cameo of Bijili Ramesh, who shines with potential. The casting of Bijili Ramesh makes complete sense when the film's third act unfolds.

Technically, Aadai is stunningly shot. The acid trip sequences carry a Gaspar Noe-ish flavour. The whimsical filmmaking is less flashy and more controlled. Even the music speaks volumes of the film's unusual nature. The soundtrack is a mix of alternative rock, melody and a devotional track with a juicy twist.

Aadai is replete with delicious moments of irony (one of the attention-seekers wears a T-Shirt with Frida Kahlo's face printed on it), and of course, the anti-establishment jokes. Despite a slightly incoherent third act, 'Aadai' is a kind of film that breaks every preconceived notion one might carry before experiencing the film. The film may not be for the faint-hearted but does deliver a satisfying, cathartic end.

AADAI VIDEO REVIEW

Verdict: Aadai is an intense, irreverent and bold film about survival. A must watch

BEHINDWOODS REVIEW BOARD RATING

3.25
3.25 5 ( 3.25 / 5.0 )

PUBLIC REVIEW BOARD RATING

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Aadai (aka) Aaadai

Aadai (aka) Aaadai is a Tamil movie. Amala Paul, Ramya Subramanian are part of the cast of Aadai (aka) Aaadai. The movie is directed by Rathna Kumar. Music is by Pradeep Kumar. Production by V Studios, cinematography by Vijay Kartik Kannan, editing by Shafique Mohamed Ali.