Aayirathil Iruvar (ஆயிரத்தில் இருவர்) starring Vinay Rai in dual roles, is a film of an unidentifiable genre. The story is about the hatred between twin brothers, naturally, that means two heroines and two love stories – told in the backdrop of family rivalry in Tirunelveli and a Hyderabad politician’s black money kept in a Swiss bank. I went to see the film for Director Saran who in previous decade has given memorable Tamil films including Kadhal Mannan (1998), Amarkalam (1999), Gemini (2002) and Vasool Raja MBBS (2004). What could’ve been an engaging story falters due to a disjoint screenplay and poor performance by Vinay Rai – in the past, I had been impressed with his debut Tamil film JayamKondaan (2008) and his recent appearance in Thupparivaalan (2017) as the villain.
Samuthrika alias Sakshi Chaudhary appears as Bhoomika, a Hyderabad girl and daughter to a wealthy politician there, whose role in the movie is limited to being the person who has a tattoo in her body with secret numbers to a Swiss bank account. Compared to that Swasthika alias Surabhi Santhosh as Athirshtalakshmi has got a better role as a town girl who loves jewels and plays confidently to win her love. Kesha Khambhati appears as a hawala dealer, a hooker and a computer hacker – don’t ask me about the combination. The film tries to be too many things at the same thing. Having 3 lead female actors was unnecessarily adding a lot of glamour quotient, and a hindrance to storytelling – why should all the 3 heroines be imports to Tamil Nadu?. Similarly, there are 3 villains and too many subplots for no obvious reasons.
To resolve the fighting between the brothers, the idea of having them both locked up in a room with their eyes closed is a good idea, reminding me of my mentor telling me that the best people management technique when two people are providing conflicting “truths” is to lock them up each with a loaded (figuratively) gun!. One of the villains, a moneylender from Madurai, played by ArulDoss is a terror outside to everyone; but cries along with his two brothers inside the hotel room – this was one of the very few enjoyable moments in the film.
The first half of the film running over 90 minutes required a lot of patience for the few who were present in Screen-5 at Luxe Cinemas for the first-day evening show, a family of 8 seated next to me was not to be seen after the interval – unfortunate, as the film became tolerable and even a bit comical only that.