Aadai (ஆடை) is a one-line story that’s stretched too far! As the title suggests the story revolves around dress(es) or the lack of them. The first half was engaging and enjoyable, it was the second half that kept dragging and ending with an amateurish climax.
This film was widely anticipated because of the trailer and the posters which featured actress Amala Paul without any dress (ஆடை). She should be appreciated for taking up a challenging role with plenty of scope of expressing her acting skills, which she has utilised well – her body language in the initial thirty minutes and in the last ten minutes were brilliant. Apart from the protagonist, it was only RJ Ramya Subramanian and Vivek Prasanna who have got some presence on screen.
The film starts with a small animation that was done well, it narrated the struggle of Nangeli who lost her life in her fight against the erstwhile Travancore kingdom for its imposition of breast tax. A brief documentary of this was shown at the beginning, available on Youtube. The first hour of the film had a load of foul words spoken, which we normally don’t hear in Tamil cinema, but they felt natural and helped to relate to the otherwise shallowly defined characters. Lastly, bless the soul of the Director Rathna Kumar for not featuring (clearly demarcated) good vs bad characters – if he had worked hard on the screenplay, this could’ve been a film of worth.
If you have loads of patience for the second half, then the film is watchable!
21st August 2019: Now available on Amazon India Prime Video