AAA: Awful, Awful, Awful

After watching Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan, I’m left in no doubt that Adhik Ravichandran is among the greatest admirers of Simbu. Nothing else can explain why all the elements of the film are constantly paying homage to the actor. Sure, we are used to this deification of the protagonist in our masala films, but AAA takes it to a different dimension altogether (pun intended). Every time Madura Michael (Simbu) does a stylised version of what Omakuchi Narasimhan used to do with the remaining hair on his head and says the thoroughly-out-of-place Sirappu, the camera falls at his feet and Yuvan Shankar Raja makes us hear the musical version of it. Sample this. The bad guy says, “Adhu yevan da?” The hero’s friend says, “Unakku yeman da.” Remember that green smiley on WhatsApp that denotes sickness? That’s exactly how I felt.

Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan
Director: Adhik Ravichandran
Cast: Simbu, Tamannaah, Shriya Saran
Storyline: Madura Michael gets reformed, gets old, and falls in love

The highlight of the director’s first film, Trisha Illana Nayanthara, was the adult humour. Here, it’s just a lot of crass adult material crammed in without any humour. In a serious scene, Selvi (Shriya Saran, who still can’t get lip-sync right it seems), asks if it is possible that Madura Michael, an assassin, could some day kill her by mistake. He responds that on account of her rather striking posterior, he could never mistake anybody for her. Remember that WhatsApp smiley I mentioned? There are some tasteless attempts at humour when characters take digs at homosexuality, and at women who ‘cheat’ men.

Adhik tries to recreate some of the quirky characterisation from his first, but here, it’s neither interesting nor used well. One guy steals blouses because he couldn’t afford to buy one for his wife before her death. One guy keeps getting electrocuted. One guy is obsessed with eating mixture. The romance is just plain awful. In one scene, Madura Michael yawns, and tells his friend it’s a ‘love yawn’ and that if Selvi should respond with a yawn, it meant that she was in love with him. This, I suppose, is the only way anybody could ever be said to fall in love with such a loser.

There’s the occasional rare joke, a painful reminder of the good times in Trisha Illana. Like when Michael hides a knife in his nether regions, and his friend asks, “Porul enga?” and he says, “Porul poruloda irukku.” There’s another about a friend called Sunil. Perhaps if the director were less smitten with the image of the actor, this is what the entire film may have ended up being.

Oh, and AAA randomly becomes a different film after the interval. If the first was the much-told story of an assassin reforming after love, the second is an unconnected story of the ‘tragic’ romance of an old man (Ashwin Thatha). The catchy Trend Song that is shot with all the colour and vibrance you expected across the film, is a rare highlight. There’s more crying about how bad women are, and there’s a lot more glorification of the actor. There are ineffective references to Manmadhan and the director’s own Trisha Illana Nayanthara. In one does-this-scene-actually-exist scene, Tamannaah’s actor tells Ashwin that Simbu is a combination of both Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. And suddenly, towards the end, it threatens to become another unconnected story when yet another character played by Simbu (Thikku Shiva), gets into proceedings.

Ultimately, in this film of two disconnected love stories, the true romance is the one that happens onscreen between the director, Adhik Ravichandran, and its hero, Silambarasan. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t result in anything particularly entertaining. Trisha Illana Nayanthara had a loser for its protagonist. AAA has gone one step further and become that very loser.

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

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