A successful poet, Pa Vijay wants to also be a successful hero and his second attempt at that is ‘Ilaingnan.’
In olden days, the minute one saw the title “story, screenplay and dialogues by Kalaingnar,’ the audience would burst into rapturous applause. Now times have changed. Many rasikas fear that a Kalaingnar film would involve reams of dialogues. There’s no such fear for ‘Ilaingan’ since dialogues are spaced out economically.
The story takes place in the 60s. Suman runs a ship building business where he treats his employees like bonded labour. He puts up an iron wall so the labourers do not escape. Their situation is almost like a prison camp. If anyone exceeds his authority, Suman condemns him to death. One such person who loses his life in this fashion is Pa Vijay’s father Nasser. When Pa Vijay takes up his father’s job, he comes to know about the ills plaguing his labourer friends.
The hero thinks a revolution will lead the laborers to freedom. He sows the seeds of revolution amidst the workmen and is all set to next get ready for a weapons war when his mother Khushboo stops him. She advises him to abstain from violence and that his ends could be achieved by non-violent means. Suman promises freedom if the ship building is completed in a month’s time. The workmen slog at it day and night and ultimately realise that Suman and Namitha have duped them. In the end, Ilaingnan shows the way to the helpless labourers and thus ends the film.
It is apt to say that Thota Tharani’s set for the massive ship is in itself a hero of the film. Since the story takes place in the 60s, the cinematographer has used suitable lighting impressively. For such stories, the background music is a very vital element and in this Vidyasagar has let us down.
Pa Vijay looks too young as the Ilaingnan so it does not gel well with the film’s story. It is difficult to believe when he bashes up the bad men and sends them flying. The heroine Ramya Nambisan looks more like the hero’s elder sister! Being a poet, Pa Vijay gets full marks in his delivery of Kalaingnar’s dialogues, but he needs to get more polish in his dance movements and body language.
As the villain and vamp, Suman and Namitha’s acting is very much like stage drama. Meera Jasmine as Suman’s younger sister and Khushboo as Gorky’s mother don’t make much of an impact. One can see Kalaingnar’s touch in dialogues like “Pudhaitha vidhayai eduthu nee ninaitha yudhathai nadathu.” Apart from having managed hundreds of supporting actors, one can’t see Suresh Krissna’s touch anywhere else.
The film has grandeur but no excellence.
Lavish spending by Martin
Screenplay without weight
Direction without energy
Lacklustre background score