CAST AND CREW
Production: CV Kumar
Cast: Anupama Kumar, Jayaprakash, Karunakaran, Mia George, Vishnu Vishal
Direction: Ravi Kumar
Screenplay: Ravi Kumar
Story: Ravi Kumar
Music: Hip Hop Tamizha Adhi
Background score: Hip Hop Tamizha Adhi
When you make a film on time travel, three things are ineludible – fancy gadgets, a geeky scientist and the time jumping laws (how the time machine works). Though we have quite a few films talking about time machine and time travels in the West, people who are not exposed to such kind of films will feel alienated to this concept.
But the director has made sure to not confuse the audience with too many scientific terms and let the people enjoy the fantasy ride with very minimum science references.
Ravi Kumar has to be credited for taking a western theory like time travel and glazing it perfectly with local cultural sentiments. The story looks so complicated yet very convincing and it is for sure the hero of the film.
Tamil cinema has come across a handful of science fictions but not many could stand the test of time, due to various reasons like budget constraints and execution flaws while some could not connect with the audience because of the lack of contemporary native references.
But when it comes to Indru Netru Naalai, CV Kumar, as a producer has made sure that Ravi Kumar gets everything that is required to make this film, a crisp and fastidious product that people can relate easily to.
CV Kumar has to be lauded for encouraging such unconventional scripts constantly. The production value looks excellent; be it the time machine instrument or the art direction, everything looked consummate.
Though the film takes its time to settle, once the core concept gets established it moves at a steady pace till the interval. Thereon the story is filled with twists and turns, some surprising while some predictable. Even though you might predict what’s coming next at times, you still will be hooked up to the screen since there are plenty other things happening too.
From Mundasupatti to Jeeva and now this, Vishnu Vishal is someone who perpetually tries to act in different type of films. He has done complete justice to his role; not in a single place the film looked artificial or like a sci-fi – a lion’s share of the credit for that has to go to the actors.
Mia George looks totally different from how she looked in Amara Kaaviyam. She compensates for her small screen time with an adorable performance.
Karunakaran continues to impress with Indru Netru Naalai. He is a powerhouse of talent, his comedies are situational. His growth has presented him with a wider scope for performance in this film and he makes a clean sweep.
TM Karthik as a scientist does a very convincing job. It is not easy to act as a geek but he did just fine. Other supporting actors like Jayaprakash, Sai Ravi and Anupama Kumar have perfectly delivered what was expected out of them, like always.
All science fictions are vulnerable to being questioned by the audiences about the logic; after all it is the axiom of the relationship that a sci-fi maker shares with his audience. But the director has taken conscious measures to keep the logic simple and avoid any potential continuity errors.
Hip Hop Adhi’s musical score is a huge addition to this team. His songs move in perfect sync with the film and not once do you feel that the songs hinder the narration.
For a subject that keeps shifting between times, proficient work of an editor is very crucial. Leo John Paul does it, as if it’s a mere cakewalk. His cuts loosen up the on-paper complexity, yet retain the thrills.
Cinematographer Vasanth and the VFX team have worked hand in hand to produce a visually strong film. Being an effects driven film, getting rid of tacky visuals is a big job and in Indru Netru Naalai, that’s the biggest achievement. All credits to the visual team !
On the downside, the movie isn’t consistently engaging as there are few commercial compromises like the villain for instance. Few of the jokes also don’t work.
But overall, Sci-fi films like these, balanced with proper style and substance will open the doors for many more such wild ideas in the future.
Verdict: A well executed sci-fi film