Mess of a message
Oru Oorla Rendu Raja is that inefficient employee in the company you are uncomfortable about firing because he is such a well-meaning fellow otherwise. The film arrives close on the heels of Kaththi with its anti-corporation sentiment. To make the package appealing, the film has a love angle, a comedy track, and duets, unconvincing, unfunny, and pace-hampering, respectively.
The real story is how Priya (Priya Anand), a doctor, discovers the inhuman conditions in a factory, and starts legal proceedings against its owner (Nassar). The decisive scene that reveals the owner’s mercilessness reminds you of the scene in Mannan when Vijayashanti refuses to take an accident victim in her car, worried the blood may smirch her car seat. This bit, the crux of the film, is sandwiched between so many bad comedy set pieces that you can’t help but be disappointed, as you’d be when you bite through the flaky crust of a chicken puff to discover that it contains very little meat inside.
The interactions between Azhagu (Vemal) and his childhood friend Michael (Soori), two wastrels who discover their purpose later in the film, are particularly tedious. The humour just doesn’t work for the major part. For instance, Michael says, “ Karuppa irukkara enna ava love panradhu evlo kashtam theriyuma? ” as if it’s supposed to be funny. Half the film is over by the time they discover their purpose. One of the film’s few impressive aspects is how it uses the characters. A police constable who is used as comic bait pleasantly surprises you by coming to the rescue of Priya later. Similarly, a random car driver (Thambi Ramaiah), who again tries too hard to be funny, becomes useful at the end. Oru Oorla Rendu Raja otherwise comes with few surprises. When Azhagu meets Priya at a TASMAC bar for the first time, you know this isn’t the sort of film that’d show a woman drinking. Sure enough, you’re told that she is a doctor buying alcohol to save a patient. The film checks many other cliché boxes. Opening song for hero with heroine’s dupatta floating tantalisingly across his face. Song immediately after hero falls in love. Flashback sequence with death of a close one. Fast song before climax with skimpily clad heroine. It is all quite tiring.
The final act has resolutions that leave you baffled. The ending, especially, seems as if the filmmakers suddenly realised that the movie had gone on for too long and decided to bring it to a swift end. When Priya subtly indicates her love at the end, you are left shaking your head in disbelief. Azhagu has almost sabotaged all her good work and Priya falls in love? But by then you are desensitised enough to not let it bother you too much. A message at the end of the film says, “Save human”. Well, a good start would be to make films with lesser clichés, and not belittle real problems with pointless comedy and unreal solutions.