Comali is directed by debutant director Pradeep Ranganathan. The trailer was interesting and it went viral too after Rajinikanth fans protested to remove the scene mocking his entry to politics. The theme of the film was interesting and I was very keen to watch this film and had very high expectations too. Did it satisfy – Yes and No.
Why Yes !!
There has been a dearth of genuine and unique comedy subjects in Tamil. All films in the recent years were either based on Horror Comedy template or a ridiculous romance with a large crazy family background – something which Sundar C invented and mastered for decades. Comali has an interesting and new premise for genuine comedy which is a positive. The director has ensured that he kept the cliché aspects out of the film in most places like “No item songs” or a “forced romance / duets” or “gravity defying actions sequences”. A suspenseful baby delivery scene and 90’s romance can never go wrong (we have seen enough evidence of this in movies like Premam, June, 18am Padi, 96, Enthiran, 3Idiots and more). Pradeep has included both in Comali which is the biggest strength for the film.
Why No !!
While the subject had huge scope for comedy, the director moderates the same in most places or atleast that’s how we feel. Several cringe-worthy scenes and dialogues are forced into the film unnecessarily which was not required at all. For eg: the Bajji shop scenes and dialogues, the scene where they search for the negative and the collection agent scenes. They could have downplayed these scenes to make it more watchable for all ages. This spoils the entire experience, which otherwise would have given you a feel-good factor in the end.
Now coming to the story – Comali revolves around Ravi (Jayam Ravi) who goes into Coma (in an accident) and wakes up after 16 years (1999 – 2016). His close friend Mani (Yogi Babu) gets married to Ravi’s sister and also takes care of him throughout the coma period. Ravi is completely outdated and finds it difficult to adjust to the current generation of people, their attitude and impact of technology in our lives. He is also burdened with the fact that his sister’s family is covered in debt because of his treatment and he has to do something to help them. How he manages to get out of this situation is the crux of the film.
Jayam Ravi has done his job well – he has improvised in the fight sequences (museum scene) and looks a million bucks as a school student. Yogi Babu has a good character and adds to the comic element. More weightage to KS Ravi Kumar’s and Kajal Agarwal’s character/ background could have made the film look more genuine. Songs are good and choreographed well too. Camera work could have been better. The 90’s feel (initial scenes) could have been extended to the outside world too, other than emphasising much on the material aspects.
The first half of the film goes fast largely supported by Yogi Babu and his one-liners. The second half has lot of aspects squeezed in, but the director ensures it does not get melodramatic except for the climax. Even the scene where Ravi talks about the ill effects of technology is presented well. The climax portion is the strength of the film and its performed well too by all actors involved.
If handled with more sincerity, Comali had the content to become another 3 Idiots or PK kind of film but ends up as a decent one-time watch. This has a remake potential and hope some one does more justice to this subject.
Rating - 3/5