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Azhagan Azhagi

Appearing on a television channel and basking in that fame is any average person's dream. When Azhagan Azhagi unveils itself as one weaving around a talent hunt show, you think it is an exciting moment for Tamil cinema . Who knows, maybe director Nanda Periyasamy will give us a racy version of the American television serial, '30 seconds to fame' . Unfortunately, that does not happen and you are made to sit through a torturous first half. The story simply does not move forward at all, and you are treated to the single theme of random villagers appearing for a screen test for the talent show. In the second half, the director throws in a couple of different angles-including cheating, kidnapping and finally even mental illness, but by then you have such a headache that you cant be bothered anymore. The screechy, high pitched dubbing of the heroine is a further aggravation. Selva (Jack) and his crew including Rani (Aarthi) , supposedly representing a TV channel, announce a talent hunt in the village, where the winner will be showcased on TV. Every village stereotype queues up as well Rathinavel (A venkatesh), a cop. How can the heroine Jothi (Aarushi) resist this opportunity? After all she is a house help in a foster house where the son is a death row convict (we don't know his crime). The convict's parents want their son to father a child before he is hanged and decide to get Jothi married to him, after their henchman Ravi Mariya comes up with the idea . Unaware of this, Jothi dreams of making it big on television and she steals out of home at night to appear for the screen test, and Selva falls in love with her. It's only in the second half that the director tries to stir up a cocktail of plots. Rathinavel finds out that Selva and his crew are petty thieves, and possible vehicle thieves. Jothi runs away with Selva and the troupe, while her foster parents are on her tail. Meanwhile three bandits are sprung on the hero as well as the audience, and they confess their crime on camera! There are at least three climaxes, and each time you think the film will end here, it drags further on. In between there are over six songs, and although 'Nenjil Ninaipathu ellam' is passable, you are not in the mood for a song, thank you. Wonder who has done the dubbing for Selva, the Tamil diction leaves a lot to be desired. But these are minor defects. There is no single actor who can lift the film up. The lead pair is just average. This is Nanda Periyasamy's third film-after Oru Kallooriyin Kadhai and Mathi Yosi. His story lacks strength and his screen play has no sense of direction. It is sad that he cannot be bothered to do his home work. After the 2001 fire in Erwadi mental asylum in which a number of chained patients died, a Supreme Court nominated commission directed that the mentally ill should not be chained. However, in the film the inmates are shown chained. G Sasikumar' editing could have been better, in many places the cuts and swipes are glaring.

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