‘Pon Ondru Kanden’ movie review: A vexingly dull, caricaturish rom-com that tests your patience

It’s not arduous to think about the type of movie that director Priya V wished her newest launch, Pon Ondru Kanden, to be: a easy, light-hearted story about two quirky middle-aged males who put their lifelong enmity apart and develop into mates solely to fall for a similar girl, refuelling their hatred for one another. Sure, whilst a one-liner, it doesn’t actually encourage novelty, however it is a movie written and directed by Priya. So, the prospect of her reintroducing the appeal of her Kanda Naal Mudhalor Kannamoochi Yenada to a brand new era of kids — with a succesful up to date forged of actors, fashionable filmmaking sensibilities, and recent humour — absolutely intrigues.

Sadly, Pon Ondru Kanden is something however a patience-testing, shockingly joyless, colossally derailed try at that. Think about watching a movie anchored by grownup characters who behave as if they’re possessed by cartoon characters. From begin to end, the movie appears like a drear fest of cardboard cut-outs of cliche archetypes. Ashok Selvan’s Siva is a contemporary, city-bred youth, whereas Vasanth Ravi’s Sai is a youth from Kumbakonam who spent the final 4 years taking good care of his mom (Sachu) affected by Dementia. The 2 childhood enemies develop into mates at a college reunion. Changing into mates is okay however what makes them develop into such good mates appears to be a query Priya needs you didn’t ask.

Now, how can we present their background whereas making certain that Sai is dependent upon Siva to navigate metropolis life? Present Siva because the one who goes on a number of dates to posh bars and present Sai because the naive small-town man who doesn’t know learn how to speak to girls or behave “usually” in any state of affairs. These are the type of cliche tropes that Pon Ondru Kanden is stuffed with.

Such shallow writing extends to even the feminine lead, Sandy, a.ok.a Sundari (Aishwarya Lakshmi), a younger girl working as a chef, who we realise shared a historical past with one of many two males, and is now in shut equations with the opposite. Naturally, this develops right into a love triangle, however we by no means actually perceive what goes in Sandy’s thoughts as she turns into a mere puppet caught between two vexingly one-dimensional man-children.

Pon Ondru Kanden (Tamil)

Director: Priya V

Forged: Ashok Selvan, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Vasanth Ravi, Sachu, Deepa Shankar

Runtime: 120 minutes

Storyline: Two middle-aged males, who had been as soon as childhood enemies, develop into good mates, solely to fall in love with the identical girl

Including to the woes is the completely monotonous plot, replete with cliches, that we see these characters traverse. There’s plenty of comfort in how the story progresses. For example, at any time when we have to put certainly one of these characters on the trail of the opposite, Shiva’s job as a gynaecologist or his office is what largely involves the rescue.

Making this wafer-thin plot harder to get via is the casting of Vasanth as Sai; a personality so starkly totally different from his earlier ones was a much-needed departure for the actor, however Sai is unquestionably not what was wanted. At instances, you marvel if anybody speaks within the modulation that he speaks in, and even when so, whether or not that was a needed trait when nothing else about this character actually comes via.

Vasanth Ravi, Aishwarya Lekshmi and Ashok Selvan in a nonetheless from ‘Pon Ondru Kanden’
| Picture Credit score:
Jio Cinema

In reality, the one good stretch within the movie comes after we don’t observe Sai; that is after we see Shiva and Sandy at a medical camp. The frames, the lighting and the music add up so effectively, and the Mani Ratnam fan in Priya is visibly and consciously in play. In a movie stuffed with over-the-top writing, this portion is the one respite we get. However how the subplot between Sandy and Shiva is written after that scene is once more one other matter of fear.

Tamil cinema appears to be in fairly a pivotal place with regards to cracking the romance style for a new-gen viewers. Whereas the success of a movie like Good Night time has ushered in additional severe makes an attempt, like Lover, to discover relationships, it’s the Malayalam movie Premalu’s triumphant success that actually excites one on the prospect of comparable romance comedies in Tamil that cater to the new-gen viewers. With earnest writing and many Gen Z-targeted comedy, that movie captured a easy story of two tender hearts in an endearing trend.

Maybe, that’s the type of movie you anticipate from a filmmaker like Priya, and on reflection, possibly Pon Ondru Kanden was meant to be one such try in some capability. Sadly, it’s miles away from what it may have been.

Pon Ondru Kanden is at present streaming on Jio Cinema

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