Can you give an entertaining movie with just a one-line story about a middle-aged man that happens over 24 hours and nothing more?. That’s exactly what Director Anthony has managed with Oru Naal Iravil (ஓரு நாள் இரவில்). Based on a Malayalam movie “Shutter (2012)” by Joy Mathew, Oru Naal Iravil has its fair share of gaps but succeeds thanks to Yugi Sethu’s unpretentious dialogues.
Veteran actor Sathyaraj plays the role of Sekar, a self-made man living happily with his wife and two children, who settled down after working hard for many years alone in Singapore. He rents out the few shops in front of his independent house that he owns. The movie begins when he sees his daughter riding on a bike with a boy, mistaking her to be in love he arranges a marriage alliance in haste and stops her from going to college. This leads to a fight with his wife, played by Kalyani Natarajan (of Saivam). After a drinking session with his friends, Sekar in a weak moment engages a hooker “Thangam” (played soberly by Anumol) to accompany him back to the shop. Due to unexpected situations, Sekar is stuck with Thangam for the next 24 hours, and unable to come out. What happens next is the story.
As a respected individual in a righteous society, you may get sympathy and support even if you have done a murder but not for immoral behaviour like the one Sekar finds himself in. Torn between his love for his family and his lust for the night. Sekar struggles through the day, as a versatile actor Sathyaraj effortlessly brings to life this soup of emotions. That’s the part I liked most about Oru Naal Iravil. In parallel to this is the happenings around a famous Movie Director Sethu Barathi, played by Yugi Sethu, my feeling towards him is of someone who hasn’t been used to his full capability by Kollywood. Going through a very bad patch in life Director Sethu is living in a local lodge trying to inch his way back to fame for which he depends on a recent script he has written. The underlying current of Sekar’s life and Sethu’s life crossing each other keeps the pace of the movie from falling into slumber.
In the card roll, the Director shows a trapped rat in a mousetrap, signifying the position of the lead character Sekar, a nice touch. Isari Velan‘s grandson Varun has played well in his debut role as an Auto driver. Navin has ensured the background score maintains the tempo of the suspense in the movie.