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A fantasy fable that fails to fly

S Viswanath, Nov 23, 2013, DHNS:

Irandam Ulagam
Tamil (U)
Director: Selvaraghavan
Cast: Arya, Anushka, Sonu Sood, Anu Hasan, Delhi Ganesh, Sathyan Shivakumar


What happens when ambition and adventurism get the better of simplicity and sensible storytelling. Result: Irandam Ulagam, twin worlds, both of which disappoint given that the narrative makes the audience totally disoriented and disinterested in its dour, dull drama that unfolds in spectacular fashion.

Traversing across twin worlds, the real and the reverie, Selvaraghavan, as the film’s tagline goes: How far will you travel for love, seeks to etch a surreal love tale out of the ordinary. With a visionary concept, he tries to envision love in the mundane and the mythical world. In the ordinary, you have them attending to the doctoral duties, in the extraordinary they are warriors fighting the imaginary demons and devils.

So you have Ramya, a doctor romancing Madhu Balakrishna in the earthy world, while in the elysian world you have the free spirited, fiercely independent Varna being doggedly pursued by Maruva/Mahendra. While in the first, the man spurns her initially and tries to win her back after she has entered into wedlock with another, in the second, the woman is forced into matrimony but get estranged. What happens to the two love tales is the fulcrum of Irandam Ulagam.

While appreciating Selvaraghavan’s attempt to weave a wondrous tale of love in two worlds, however, one has to bemoan how the director has failed to live up to his reputation and imagination and given to experimentation and not to tread the familiar terrain.

As the fantasy film flits between the here and the above, Irandam Ulagam, turns into a convoluted conundrum done in by a woolly, wafer-thin script and execution. Given that the film’s running time is a whopping 160 minutes makes it that much more insufferable.
Only the film’s vibrant visuals and a few lilting score provide relief from the otherwise tedious time at the theatre. In sum, there is a wide span between the imagination of Selvaraghavan and the intentions of telling a love tale.


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