CAST AND CREW
Production: Abi & Abi Pictures, Thirukumaran Entertainment
Cast: Ashok Selvan, Mirchi Shiva, Muniskanth, Oviya, Shruthi Ramakrishnan
Music: Sean Roldan
Background score: Sean Roldan
Editing: Leo John Paul
Thirukumaran Entertainment must make their tagline as, “Always on the lookout for a script that stands out”. 144, their new venture in association with Abinesh Elangovan is about two imaginary villages, Erimalaikundu and Poomalaikundu, their differences and their annual ‘festivity’, which is the section 144 that’s snapped upon them every year on a particular occasion. 144 is also about how all these factors and their consequences impact a major errand of a bunch of thieves.
Shiva as Desu, a petty thief and Ashok Selvan as Madan, a driver to a politician in the village are perfectly cast. 144 doesn’t pose any strain to its actors. Shiva, with his usual poker face shenanigans, pulls off a few top stuffs like the lip lock sequence and “please my understand, try to Kalyani, the situation” portion.
Ashok Selvan’s makeover as a raw, country boy is a pleasant change. ‘Mundasupatti’ Ramdoss also gets a meaty part and this way around, he is the showstopper.
Oviya and Shruthi Ramakrishna have roles that hold purposes, but the heavy dialects that come with the characters don’t seem to match their performances. The trio Madhusudhan Rao, Uday Mahesh and the inspector collectively provide a major share of humour.
On the flip side, 144’s technical department shines like the Sirius in the night sky. Gopi Anand’s highly imaginative artwork in creating a whole new village is yet another brilliant piece of work.
Cinematographer Gurunath and editor Leo John Paul have worked hand in hand to provide visuals that are aptly vibrant and precise in flow. Sean Roldan’s extensive and creative use of rhythms add to the humour, although one might also find the background scores a decibel loud at places and silence deprived.
On the script and screenplay front, it is obvious that 144 is written just to entertain. The first half, though takes a bit of time to settle down, is a mindless riot until the interval. The big robbery scene in particular, however senseless, was one of the best comedies of this year.
Had it remained senseless throughout the movie, it would have still been a memorable laugh time. But, post interval, the director indulges into fixing up the few logics and loses track of the entertainment. And there comes a dip in the screenplay. Despite the fall in the flow, the second half still manages to crack the audiences up here and there.
Long story short, 144 is like the good-old Road Runner and Tom & Jerry kind of movie. You know it doesn’t make much sense, but that doesn’t stop you from having a good laugh.
Verdict: All the ups and downs considered, 144 is still 133 minutes of all-smile time