DOUBLE roles are a favourite with Tamil film producers and actors. The actors love them because they find it challenging to portray two different characters. In this movie, Jayam Ravi appears in dual roles as a gang leader — one operating in Thailand and the other in Mumbai.
The first scenes in Pattaya, Thailand show Aadhi (Jayam Ravi) involved in a scam to rob a granite manufacturer of his ill-gotten gains, including bullion and cash.
He does this by posing as an income tax officer (which reminds one of gang exploits in the recent Hindi movie, Special 26).
Much time is wasted on a side story involving his mother and sister who are not on speaking terms with him because they don’t approve of his criminal activities. Aadhi meets Karisma (Neetu Chandra), who works in a pub, when he saves her from hoodlums.
The second half deals with his lookalike, Bhagavan, in Mumbai. That’s when things get exciting and you forget the soppy first half of the movie.
Bhagavan has a feminine side, with a penchant for lipstick and gaudy clothes, but with his appetite for young women intact.
Director Ameer is known for his hard-hitting trailblazers such as Mounam Pesiyadhe, Raam and Paruthiveeran. He also portrayed a criminal in Yogi.
Jayam Ravi thrills with his varied acting. His portrayal of Bhagavan brings the house down. He also shines in the fighting scenes.
Watch out for the scene where he matches his fighting skills with Neetu Chandra. That should make the women roar in approval. Neetu is also good in the stunts.
Neetu, who has been busy with Hindi films, became known to Tamil movie fans through Yavarum Nalam (opposite Madhavan) and Theeradha Vilaiyattu Pillai (with Vishal). She should be more in demand after this movie as it is hard to play a gangster’s moll: She does so convincingly.
Ameer will have to pay for his reluctance in trimming the first half, probably because he spent so much time and money filming in Thailand. The addition of a cabaret song, with the long-forgotten Sakshi, makes it worse.
The songs here (music by Yuvan Shankar Raja) are an impediment for a crime story like this.
See this one if you are a Jayam Ravi fan.
AADHI BHAGAVAN (Tamil)
Directed by Ameer
Starring Jayam Ravi, Neetu Chandra, Sudha Chandran, Saiju Kurup, Baby Antony
Duration 150 minutes