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Lacks Substance: Engeyum Kaadhal

Directed by: Prabhu Deva • Cast: Jayam Ravi, Hansika Motwani • Music: Harris Jayaraj

Engeyum Kaadhal is a short romantic film with a non-existent plot and a dash of tour de France. Remember Govinda-Karishma romantic movies of the 90’s where the entire movie was all about the duo dancing away in Europe?

Prabhu Deva’s signature foot-tapping music is somewhat peppy. Shot in Paris, the cinematography is picturesque, but then that’s about it.

Director Prabhu Deva, who is better known for his dance, starts off with a song that is more of a kissing spree, giving the viewer a heads up on what’s coming.

He introduces the lead characters and goes off camera, probably back to his director’s chair.

The story goes like this: Kayalvizhi (Hansika), is a music student and the daughter of a private detective (Suman) and Kamal (Jayam Ravi) is a romantic young Indian businessman, who spends one full month in a year in Paris just to enjoy life. Bless the economic boom in India!

One day, Kayal runs into Kamal and it’s love at first sight. Kamal, on the other hand is a carefree no-commitments-just-fun type wanderer. He likes Kayal but love is still not in the air.

The first half moves on showing Kayal trying to woo Kamal’s heart, but in vain. Time for a new strategy, (and a pseudo plot for the audience)

Kayal changes her strategy and pretends to mock Kamal with the jealousy factor, showing herself as a girl who has a lot of boy friends. Kamal gets jealous, yet his self-respect prevents him from revealing it. This hide-and-seek telltale continues till the end, where everything falls in line with a dramatic twist.

Prabhu Deva tries to present a love story without any villain, sub plots and deviations. He has succeeded on giving the film a romantic look and feel. But he has grossly failed to make it an engrossing experience thanks to the redundant and dull sequences. The complexities of the romantic relationship of the lead pair haven’t been portrayed convincingly.

Prabhu did get the ingredients right. He has Harris Jayaraj’s youthful music, Nirav Shah’s excellent camera work, Antony’s smart editing, beautiful Hansika and enthusiastic Ravi. But he has failed to make use of these ingredients to present us a decent entertainer.

Jayam Ravi looks smart and handles his role with ease although the role doesn’t suit his natural image of boy-next-door.

Hansika looks pretty and performs well, but her role doesn’t through any challenge to the newcomer.

Raju Sundaram’s efforts to make us laugh are quite irritating.

Suman doesn’t get any scope to perform.

The background score is good but his tunes are again run-of-the-mill. The title song and Nangai… stand out.

A run-of-the-mill story worth watching if you really don’t have much to do or just need to ease out on a date.
­— Chennai Online.
[Chennai Online]


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