Hello Naan Pei Pesuren: Phony movie

Check the trailer here.

Hello Naan Pei Pesuren is a horror-comedy. And in keeping with the genre, the film contains both comedy and horror.

There is a lot of comedy, in fact.
Like how Kavitha is shown to be in love with Amudhan, though all she knows about him is that he’s a thief. Like how fake the office spaces in the film are: you know that the man in Kavitha’s office is her manager because he has a large nameplate that simply reads ‘MANAGER’; a scene later, you know that Kavitha and Amudhan are at a pawn broker’s because there are nameplates around the store that read ‘PAWN BROKER’. Like how the make-up of the ghost makes you wonder if she’s arrived straight from a bad Halloween party. Like how the excessive make-up of Aishwarya Rajesh makes you wonder if she is the ghost, long before she actually gets possessed. Like how you can easily recognise an authentic priest in these films by the depth of his voice: the deeper the voice, the more powerful the priest. Like how this said powerful priest recites incantations in Hindi (as the ghost is of a Marwari woman), and dutifully follows up with a Tamil translation too—à la Major Sundarrajan in old Tamil films—for the benefit of Tamil audiences.

There is a lot of horror too.

Like in the scarcity of good jokes. Like how for almost 40 minutes into the first half, there’s no indication of a ghost, leading you to wonder if you’ve stepped into the wrong film. Like all the painfully ineffective double entendres in the film. Like realising that Aishwarya Rajesh—yes, the actress from Kaaka Muttai—is the heroine in this film. Like the under-utilisation of talent like Karunakaran, Vaibhav and even VTV Ganesh, who were all quite good in their last collaboration, Kappal. Like the over-exaggerated Chennai accent of Amudhan (Vaibhav), that makes it so hard to take anything he says seriously. Like the ridiculous attempts at parodying films like Suryavamsam and Kadhalan: VTV Ganesh, the brother of Kavitha (Kavidha, as Amudhan calls her a zillion times in the film), runs a place called Sorgavasal Natyalaya, a kuthu dance centre in which Amudhan has to prove himself. Like the dim realisation that horror-comedies are still coming in thick and fast, even though they’ve clearly run out of ideas.

So, yes, I suppose Hello Naan Pei Pesuren is a horror-comedy indeed.

This review was written for The Hindu. All copyrights belong to the organisation. Do link to this page if you’d like to share this review.

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