I am a bit confused about giving a verdict for the new Sivakarthikeyan movie Ayalaan. On one hand, it is a movie with a very simple and predictable story with every twist and turn feeling very familiar. And on the other hand, if you take your kids who aren’t much exposed to the sci-fi genre films, this could well be an enjoyable experience for you, because they are enjoying. When my friend asked me how the movie was, I said, your 4-year-old kid will love it as there are elephants, birds, dance, songs, colorful visuals, a cute-looking Alien, and a lot of preaching about saving the environment. For the adults, it’s just the dialogue humor that is entertaining.
Aryan, a greedy industrialist, has found an alien element that has the capacity to drill to the center of the Earth. His plans to make a huge business out of that hit a roadblock when an Alien arrived at Earth and took that stone kind of thing that was powering the whole process. What we see in Ayalaan is the story of that Alien and the people he meets during his short stint on Earth.
Indru Netru Naalai, the time travel fantasy of R Ravikumar, was not really a kid’s film, and it hardly deviated from the genre for the sake of creating a commercial appeal. Perhaps due to the recovery pressure, in Ayalaan, which gets a Pongal release, the design is very typical. Post the hero’s introduction, you get your usual dance song, which will almost make you wonder whether he will join politics. After that, there are some jokes to show the naivety and innocence of the villager hero. When the story moves to Chennai, there again they are squeezing in comical bits. The kid’s movie design is kind of evident as there are multiple scenes where we see the hero saving kids and the heroine teaching the kids. In fact, the movie is so clean that the only statutory warning they give ahead of the film is to wear a helmet while riding a bike.
Sivakarthikeyan uses the Namma Veettu Pillai style of his acting extensively here to be that likable on-screen figure for the kids. The humor bits, which are his safe zone, are done pretty neatly, and like I already said, those are the only things that will work for the adults in the audience. Rakul Preet Singh is the leading lady Tara. Even though she is not an irreplaceable entity for the film, I was glad that glamour wasn’t the criterion to create that character. Sharad Kelkar plays the role of the antagonist, and it seems like the director’s note on that character was just to frown with anger from beginning to end. Isha Koppikar, as the Villain’s aide, had a pointless role where she was playing Ravikumar’s version of Real Steel. Yogi Babu and Karunakaran were given the duty to handle the humor, and they managed to do that neatly in their typical style. Siddharth has given the voice to the Alien, Tattoo, and it was a smart decision.
The movie had run into a lot of financial issues, causing a lot of production delays. Those factors wouldn’t have been much of a problem if the story here had that compelling excitement that we felt while watching a relatively smaller Indru Netru Naalai. The scale of the imagination of Ravikumar has definitely evolved while the storytelling became flat and compromised. The visual effects aren’t that smooth. While the backgrounds were done neatly through CGI, the movements of the Alien felt odd, especially when he hugged characters. That whole set piece featuring a truck and Duke bike had green screens written all over it. The music is by the great AR Rahman, but frankly, the tracks didn’t feel that catchy, and for some reason, the songs felt like a mismatch for the movie’s milieu.
Ayalaan is a movie that is strictly for the kids, and that too, not for the ones who are aware of all the characters in, say something like an MCU. I am saying this because there are a lot of Indru Netru Naalai adult fans, who are expecting the director to come up with something bigger and better. Ayalaan is just not that movie.
If you take your kids who aren't much exposed to the sci-fi genre films, this could well be an enjoyable experience for you, because they are enjoying.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended