CAST AND CREW
Production: Dr. Sivabalan, Ravindran
Cast: Balasingh, Chaams, Goundamani, Kalavani Thirumurugan, Motta Rajendran
Background score: K
The ‘King of Satire’ and an evergreen comedy icon, Goundamani is back as the face of a film after quite a while with 49-O directed by Arokiyadoss.
The film brings to the fore, the plight of poor farmers and how they are stuck between politicians, officials and real estate brokers, for the need of money.
The treatment isn’t entirely serious, that too when we have Gounder helming affairs. The thespian is fiery in his typical humor-laced attack of current day politicians and political trends, and brings about quite a few entertaining moments for the audience to clap and hoot.
At 76, the kind of energy that Gounder exhibits on screen is remarkable and he even shakes his leg for a couple of songs. The ‘Amma Pola’ number (music by K) is the best of the lot while for the other songs, the team could have opted for montages instead of making Gounder mouth the lyrics.
In most of the songs, we have Gounder walking and leading the villagers on a mission, and also sing along to the lines of the song. Even better, these songs could have been avoided!
49-O gets its intent right, and is another noteworthy showcase of the lives of helpless farmers, like last year’s Kaththi. The film also carries a good closing message about how the 49-O rule can be made more powerful to weed out worthless politicians.
Mainstream elements such as romance and duet songs have been bravely eschewed too. But the film isn’t consistently gripping and doesn’t engage us over its sub-2 hours run time.
The locations, visuals and other technical aspects of 49-O are very basic and it is evident that the film was made on a very meager budget, banking just on the content, its message and of course the lead man. There are many unknown actors playing the villagers and hence there is an element of amateurishness in the performances.
Other than Gounder, Motta Rajendran as the ad film director, Chaams as an actor and Guru Somasundaram (Jigarthanda fame) as a middleman in the village make a mark here and there.
Rajendran is typically milked for some laughs with jokes surrounding his appearance. Thirumurugan gets a prominent role as the restless politician who is at the receiving end of Gounder’s moves.
Go watch the film if you are of one those ardent Gounder fans and also if you enjoy political satire.
The film doesn’t offer anything unique within this genre but when Gounder is the face of such political attacks and mild preaching, it can get enjoyable !
Verdict: Watch it for Goundamani and its good intent.