From mainstream superstar films to niche films, the hottest topic in the past few years in Tamil cinema has been the farmer issue. A couple of weeks back, actor Suriya’s production Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum also had the same theme packaged in a different bottle. The new Zee5 release Endravathu Oru Naal directed by Vetri Duraisamy, is another tragic story of farmer issues. But the writing is so dull here that one would even feel that the filmmakers just wanted to exploit the viewer’s sentiment.
Thangamuthu and Rasathi are this couple who were living happily in the village, taking care of their cattle. The excessive use of bore wells in the village resulted in a drought situation, and Thangamuthu decided to borrow some money to deepen their existing well. But the plan didn’t go the way they planned, and what we see in Endravathu Oru Naal is the consequences of that decision which even affected the life of their son Murugan.
Vetri Duraisamy’s intention is to throw hurdles at the central characters to generate sympathy for them in the viewers’ minds. The content is educative for sure. But the packaging makes it look like a docu-fiction about a situation everybody knows. The narration never wants the viewer to feel the struggle of the character in a more immersive way. It’s a very peripheral view of the situation, and the consequences we see in the story are scaled up unrealistically.
Ramya Nambeesan, as Rasathi, is playing this typical village housewife who is sentimental about everything. Remya delivers a good performance, considering the way the character was written. The dubbing for the character felt a bit uneven. Vidharth is fine playing the level-headed family man who considers his cattle as a part of the family. My favorite in the lot was Master Raghavan. It’s not the usual grace mark you give to child actors. There is an unrealistic demand from the movie’s writing towards this character to be mature, and Raghavan pulled it off in an extremely convincing way.
The movie’s sentimental tone and its broad stroke nature in creating drama is the reason why you sense a template rather than a story. Vetri Duraisamy is looking at the extremities of the emotions, and the trajectory it takes to depict the helplessness of the family isn’t that convincing. The movie doesn’t want to travel beyond the clichéd obstacles, and after a point, you will be able to guess what could well happen in the climax. The intention is to break our hearts and make it a thought-provoking cinema. But the writing isn’t really interested in grabbing your attention.
If you haven’t been following Tamil cinema off late, Endravathu Oru Naal might work as this pertinent movie that needs to be appreciated for the topic. But the farmer issue has been getting the limelight for so long now, and I believe it has reached a point where you are looking for the craft in storytelling even when you acknowledge the topic’s relevance.
The farmer issue has been getting the limelight for so long now, and I believe it has reached a point where you are looking for the craft in storytelling even when you acknowledge the relevance.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended