RUNNING ON LOOP

Edhir Neechal

Edhir neechal, featuring comedian Siva Karthikeyan in the lead is a partly a sports film.  Hmm, generally I abhor sports films not because they are not entertaining but they usually follow the same story arc which is as follows: the underdog, the had been coach, the impossible opponent, the words of wisdom and inspiration, the fall before the rise, the final battle with the underdog emerging victorious.

Edhir neechal has all of the above, but begins differently, with a fundamental woe which has nothing to do with sport, the name. The protagonist, who is named after the family deity and when that name is shortened is cause for much embarrassment. Interestingly the major events in his life run around his inability to decide on whether to go for a name change. The first part of the film is a plain buddy comedy, where the buddy here is played by Satish and is quite good. My only problem with the buddy comedy is that, these buddies solely exist to absorb the botherings of the protagonist and have no life of their own, even if they do they don’t seem to care about it. Yes, it is the same rectilinear approach of story telling from the point of the hero. The sole purpose of this buddy is to help the hero win his girl, the usual animated socially aware multitasking sweet school teacher Priya Anand, the template itself will make any hero fall in love.

Suddenly what happens is this, the story wakes up. Having been put to sleep with endless duets and love failure numbers, the hero decides that in his life he must have conviction. I’m sure that the previously mentioned story format is very extend able to any sport and in R.S Durai Senthilkumar’s film it is a marathon. Admirable to see that effort has been undergone to introduce what a marathon is to the audience and also commendable is the use of newspaper events that everyone is familiar with to propel the story. Actually my only problem with the film is that it is not a film, but two. The earlier portions having no correlation as to how it all ends, and the marathon portion is a film by itself having two involved back stories and i think that’s the story the director would have wanted to make and with the available time he does manage it convincingly, the first part is just to get you to your seats.

Also seems that no one can make a successful film without a bar song.

I’ve come to realise (yes very late) that these sports films are done to inspire audience, to help them achieve what they thought yesterday as impossible; in the end it is about selling hope.  I liked the film honestly and I’m not going to complain about people sticking to formats because that’s what they intended to do.

But then I’ll keep saying it’s the same thing, again and again.

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