* Spoiler Alert *
All the Indians (not only originating, but born and brought up in India) speak business class English in the slums of Mumbai. Ajatashatru Lavesh Patel (Dhanush) aims to fly to Paris not just to earn money, but also in search of his long missing father. Eventually, the Mumbaite lands in Paris as a tourist with a fake passport. He seems to be so perfect on the French soil: There’s never an instance where we witness him struggle on a foreign land. Where is the intensity? Even if presented in such a way, this kind of staging is a fairy tale that the audiences can hardly buy.
The heroine, a Chicago girl, falls for the hero, a Mumbaite, instantaneously. A reason for this is stated as well: The unique geo magnetic forces in Paris drive people to fall in love instantaneously. Wait, what!? Okay, doesn’t love/romance that originates in Paris, the city of love, deserve better staging?
A 27-year old friend of the heroine wants to turn herself into a lesbian. She visits lesbo clubs and eventually, finds herself lesbian partners. One day, the heroine catches her friend having sex with a girl. This track has absolutely nothing to do with the plot. The audiences cannot buy this off-track lesbian thing as comedy.
Ajatashatru earns a mighty sum of money (thanks to Karma), is on top of the world (boards a giant hot air balloon with posh provisions), but suddenly, comes down as a refugee and gets his money snatched by a villainy sailor. Ajatashatru, along with the help of few refugees, manages to take back his money. To show his gratitude, Ajatashatru contributes the money for the well being of the refugees. There’s a frame where Ajatashatru is afloat above the refugees, indicating a saviour. If there’s something that’s worthwhile comparatively in this film, it’s this sequence of scenes that’s a bit heart warming. Note, “comparatively” and we never really feel a thing for the refugees whatsoever, because the film lacks the intensity to touch your heart.
Both the versions (the young and the 20+) of Ajatashatru are notably well played by Hearty Singh and Dhanush respectively. The kid, Hearty Singh, is bang on with his emotions so efficaciously. This role is a piece of cake for Dhanush & he’s in a good form in a not-so-good film.
Ajatashatru narrates the extraordinary journey of his (not so and so as a film) to 3 youngsters who are about to be jailed. Inspired by the story, they accept Ajatashatru’s proposal of offering them free education. About the audiences, they will have to leave the theatres uninspired. This adaptation of the novel “The extraordinary journey of the Fakir who got trapped in an Ikea wardrobe” is a wannabe fairy tale, heart warmer and inspirer that falls flat on an earnest Dhanush. The ideas never really land as the film lacks intensity, but they’re engrossing on the paper though.
Reviewed by Rajarajan VS