Let’s run away
There is little that is credible about Theriyama Unnai Kadhalichitten. The heroine, in an introduction scene to establish her quirky cuteness, is shown rising out of stagnant rainwater on her terrace. Presumably, the rain conspired with the terrace’s poor drainage facility to form a swimming pool of sorts. Karthik (Vijay Vasanth), a college student and the hero of the film, stalks the school-going Gayathri, and sends her messages about her whereabouts. “Now, you are in Raj Bhavan.” “Now, you are crossing a signal.” A human version of Google Maps, so to speak. Presumably, it’s his way of conveying romantic interest.
A few scenes later, Gayathri, who understandably treats him with derision till then, does a U-turn. This happens after she stands in a temple, asking God if Karthik is a good man. Presumably, the ringing of a temple bell can be interpreted as God’s affirmation of a man’s character.
Now that the romance is up and running, what next, you ask? Family problems? Bingo. Apparently, Gayathri’s mother has promised her burly brother Gayathri’s hand in marriage. Like a goat for slaughter. This causes the romancing couple to elope to Kodaikanal, curiously enough with the permission of the very uncle in question! Without divulging the story, let’s just say that one incomprehensible scene follows another until the film comes to a merciful end.
Gayathri’s characterisation puts her right up there in the list of the most unlovable female leads of Tamil cinema. The first half establishes that she is as smart as a bag of rocks. To add to this, she is also lazy; no, not inactive in an adorably casual way, but downright unwilling to move. She creates a lasso to bring a TV remote near her, she waits at the dinner table until her mother hand-feeds her, and even prepares for examinations by having her mother read out texts to her.
When Karthik wonders during the second half if he is better off without her, you wonder why it took him so long to find out. Every sentence she says ends with his name. “Why Karthik?” “Why are you rebuking me, Karthik?” “Karthik, can you cook, Karthik?” In fact, the last word of the film, rather fittingly, is Karthik! The dialogues are mind-numbingly repetitive. That she stands out amid the other caricatured characters speaks volumes.
There’s a scene in the second half that has Karthik begging random people not to fall in love after his experiences with Gayathri; experiences that are as traumatising for us as they are for him. You are tempted to warn moviegoers in a similarly imploring manner as you walk out of the movie.