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Aelay Movie Review

Aelay
2.5

Aelay Movie Summary

Portraying the complexities in human relationship is an art and director Halitha Shameem is mastering it. Usually, when exploring issues in human relationships the story runs in to a melodramatic tone. But story teller Halitha Shameem ensures that the film moves with a light hearted feel with her creative writing ability. Even her characterization is so well that all her characters are interesting and unique. On the down side, the flick slows down on few instances and given the length of the flick it tests our patience. But that factor can be overlooked to experience an authentic flick such as Aelay.

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Films running in to financial trouble just before the release, is turning out to be a real disaster in Tamil cinema. The recent flick to suffer that fate is actor Samuthirakani’s Aelay. It is unfortunate that the entertainer could not have a proper theatrical release. Aelay is planned for a direct television release on 28th of February.

Aelay Movie Pictures 06

There are only a handful of directors in Tamil cinema who do not concern themselves with the unwritten mandatory rule of adding commercial elements to make a film. They are merely keen on telling their story. Film maker Halitha Shameem appears to be a new addition to that list. Director Halitha Shameem who made her debut in Tamil cinema with her children drama Poovarasam Peepee garnered the attention of the audience with her romantic anthology flick Sillu Karupatti. Now she is back with her next project Aelay. The story is built on the premise of complexities in a father-son relationship. Films based on Father-son relationship are not new to Tamil cinema, speaking of which it is hard to go by without recalling Emdan Magan when discussing father-son relationship dramas. But unlike an authoritarian father in Emdan Magan, Aelay has a contrasting father figure. So how is Aelay different from rest of the father-son relationship dramas we have had? To know let us jump in to the movie review.

The entertainer opens to Parthi (Manikandan) travelling to his village to pay his last respect for his demised father, Muthukutty (Samuthirakani). He reaches the village but there is no emotion in him. Just like Albert Camus’s Meursault in The Stranger, he does not even shed a tear. Just like how Meursault smokes and keeps drinking coffee, Parthi is more concerned about his hunger. In fact he goes out to a shop and gulp down a platter of parotta. Why is Parthi so emotionless? The flashback unfolds; Muthukutty is an ice cream seller who struggles to make ends meet. He is mischievous beyond his years. He drinks, gambles, and behaves in an inane way. All this embarrasses and irritates Parthi who is already angry and tired of seeking a suitable job in the city. After an extremely humiliating incident Parthi completely stops talking to his father. He maintains distance from his father.

Though his son’s refusal to talk to him worries him, nothing could stop Muthukutty and he continues to enjoy life in his own way unapologetically. While Parthi could not form a good relationship with his father, his love interest Naachiyaa (Madhumathi) develops a good friendship with him. Cut to the present, at the night of the funeral day an unexpected event occurs that completely shocks and moves Parthi greatly. What happens on the funeral day, will Parthi understand and accept the good side of his father at his last journey is what makes the rest of the flick.

Director Halitha Shameem deserves appreciation just for choosing to do a film with such a plot line. Not many Tamil film makers would have dared to do it. The first best thing about Aelay is how good it is written, the second is its casting. The cast is fitting and their performances have complimented the sweet plot line well. Explaining father son relationship is equally difficult like the relationship itself. But Halitha Shameem makes it simple. Initially, she shows us the father from the perspective of the son so to establish the reason for the son’s hatred. Then she shows the father from the perspective of Naachiyaa to depict the other side of him.

Portraying the complexities in human relationship is an art and director Halitha Shameem is mastering it. Usually, when exploring issues in human relationships the story runs in to a melodramatic tone. But story teller Halitha Shameem ensures that the film moves with a light hearted feel with her creative writing ability. Even her characterization is so well that all her characters are interesting and unique. On the down side, the flick slows down on few instances and given the length of the flick it tests our patience. But that factor can be overlooked to experience an authentic flick such as Aelay.

Actor Samuthirakani is known for portraying characters with clear social conscience and mouthing fiery dialogues. For a change he has opted to do a casual yet interesting role. With every film the actor’s acting prowess is getting sharper and sharper. Particularly, his performance in the portions of an old man is a delight to watch. He not only pulls off the role with ease but makes it look natural. Actor Manikandan is simply superb and delivers a very impressive performance. Actress Madhumathi Padmanaban shines as a witty village girl and seems like a promising find. The rest of the cast has delivered a decent performance.

On the technical front, music directors Arul Dev & Kaber Vasuki’s tracks are not impressive but they make up for it in their background score. Cinematographer Theni Eswar’ frames has given a magical outlook to the entertainer. He has captured the raw beauty and the village atmosphere quite well. Editor Raymond Derrick Crasta could have been a little sharper with his trims.

On the whole, despite its patience testing running time it is still worth a watch as films like Aelay are not made often in Tamil cinema.

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