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South Stream: Vijay Sethupathi’s Naanum Rowdy Dhaan

In the sixteenth edition of South Stream, we recommend director Vignesh Shivan's Naanum Rowdy Dhaan starring Vijay Sethupathi and Nayanthara in the lead roles.

Written by Manoj Kumar R | Bengaluru |
Updated: October 28, 2019 8:14:07 am
Naanum Rowdy Dhaan stills Naanum Rowdy Dhaan (I Am Also a Rowdy) is a film about the girl on a path of revenge.

The wise men know that comedy is a serious business. It is quite easy to give audience jump scares or make them feel a gamut of emotions with little efforts. But, making people laugh is not easy. Because… it is a serious business. And today the art of comedy in mainstream films have been reduced to ridiculing one’s appearances or objectifying women. Rarely, we see a film in Tamil that makes us laugh hard sans ill-considered jokes. Director Vignesh Shivan’s 2015 dark comedy Naanum Rowdy Dhaan is a rare film in that sense.

Naanum Rowdy Dhaan (I Am Also a Rowdy) is a film about the girl on a path of revenge. No, she is not wielding a Samurai sword and not about to go on a killing spree. It is not that kind of a film. Vignesh gives an almost parody treatment to this revenge drama and makes every joke count. The film is set in Pondicherry, a go-to place to enjoy good alcohol at cheaper rates. It is a well-known holiday destination, which has beaches and mornings that are bright and sunny. The natural features of the Union Territory add to the holiday mood of the film.

The story begins with a school-kid, who enjoys hanging out behind the bars. You can slip in and out of the prison without no consequences if your mother is a cop, who runs the police precinct. And the kid has a dotting mother in a police uniform that allows him to get spoiled and be that way even as an adult. During his regular visit to the police station, the kid runs into a warm and friendly rowdy (played by Motta Rajendran). And both of them discuss as to who is more powerful between police and a rowdy? In the story, the cop, Ravikumar (Azhagam Perumal), who is a lousy shooter, rubs the rowdy, Killivalavan (a terrific Parthiban) in a wrong way. And in turn, Killivalavan drops a bomb on Ravikumar’s house, killing his wife and causing hearing loss to his daughter.

Also Read | South Stream: PudhupettaiAgent Sai Srinivasa Athreya | Maanagaram | Angamaly Diaries | Iruvar | Aadu – Oru Bheekara Jeevi Aanu | Premam | Anbe Sivam | Joker | Ishq | Michael Madana Kama Rajan | Kumbalangi Nights | Pariyerum Perumal | Sarkari Hi. Pra. Shaale, Kasaragodu, Koduge: Ramanna Rai | Sudani from Nigeria

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Rajendran narrates this tragic story in the most animated way possible, thanks to his sand-paper voice, which can be funny and terrifying at the same time. The highly-talented star cast is one of the reasons why this film works so effectively. Vijay Sethupathi and RJ Balaji bring a whiff of satire to the narration by parodying the way anti-heroes are celebrated in our films. Nayanthara infuses her character with a lot of innocence that triumphs at the end, despite her thirst for vengeance. The mere presence of Parthiban is a blessing for the film.

The warm, happy and funny mood that Vignesh sets in the opening moments stays until the end, even when the film gets a tad bit sentimental in a few places. Composer Anirudh Ravichander’s lively background score coupled with chartbuster songs aids the director in achieving a farcical film about revenge.

Naanum Rowdy Dhaan is streaming on Sun Nxt.

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