Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ala Modalaindi - Movie Review

Watched 'Ala Modalaindi' yesterday. A massive hit, this movie is also directed by Nandini Reddy and stars Nani, both of whom I know through Ram. I was curious to see what made this movie such a huge hit just as I was keen to see what Nandini had made. I had watched an interview of Nandini's a while ago and she was very honest and straightforward in her replies. She simply said that she did not know what really worked in this film except that she made it honestly. The honesty showed in the film and Nandini stayed true to herself. I am also a great believer that honesty pays especially in the creative medium.

'Ala Modalaindi' is a comedy of errors with two very contemporary characters, Gautam (Nani) and Nithya (Nithya Menon) and their quest for love. They look for love everywhere except under their nose, and by the time they realise that it was right there, they run off to different directions and different people, conjuring up more scope for more errors and confusion. The treatment is breezy which works in its favour and all else is passable - though for a while in the middle (I cannot place it but there was a period) when I was tired of them running to and away and nothing happening. It ends well though and I had no problems with that. In fact I felt that the movie just about caught up its own unique irreverent flavour and momentum and was warmly chugging up for more nice things, with Ashish Vidyarthi joining the bandwagon as the repentant kidnapper, and adding to the mirth and fun in the situations towards the end. If it had retained that flavour throughout, it would have been something else,  but still, you cannot have it all.

The movie starts on an intriguing note, with someone creeping up on the hero and about to strike him out with a mean wrench. Cut to Gautam, off to meet his girlfriend Simran but lands in hospital (due to a well hit legside boundary by the omnipresent Nithya which causes a series of road accidents) and a knock on his head by an oncoming car. While he is on the stretcher the girlfriend has fallen in love with the doctor. Gautam gets invited and goes for the wedding in Bangalore with his gang, gets drunk, and meets a drunken  Nithya, who was dumped by the doctor. Then the two meet in a pub in Hyderabad and wander around the city shopping, meeting his single activist Mom etc until Nithya has to go back to Bangalore where she resides. Just as Gautam thinks that maybe this girl is the right one, she is swept off her feet by her new fiance at the interval. Gautam is heartbroken, ignores Nithya's calls and emails, and finds solace in the arms of Kavya (Sneha Ullal) a traditional Tamilian, pub going vet who is a control freak. Gautam realises he does not want a control freak as his partner and gets off, after a situation at her house when everyone brands him a gay. Anyway his Mom dies meanwhile due to a sudden hemorrhage, causing all previous girlfriends to come homing to the lonely lad. Nithya comes to his house and finds a taali flaunting, coffee making, sari clad Kavya (now married to a German doctor or something like that) and instantly returns home as she normally does - without finishing the work she came for i.e. to condole Gautam. He has no clue that Nithya had come and does not seem to care a hoot anyway, until the next day, when he finds her bracelet (which she probably threw off before she left), does he know that she came. He also has a bunch of friends who do not tell him about her arrival in the city. Anyway, everyone heads to Bangalore where Nithya, as usual, is getting hitched to another guy and we have to stop this wedding because ....Gautham has found out that she is his true 'confirmed' love. On the way John Abraham (Ashish Vidyarthi) kidnaps him and the comedy of errors climaxes well.

The movie had its moments though it tended to drag sometime in the middle when nothing much was happening. I liked it overall. It somehow seems to be a sign of the times, the flippant falling in and out of love, the less than convincing reasons for walking in and out of relationships. I find it difficult to identify with such casual relationships, more so when they are backed by reasons about what 'true love' is - signs of my growing older I guess. However I must complement Nandini on a great first effort - a comedy of errors is a different genre to pull off because it can go wrong - and even more so for getting her finger right on the button far as the audience goes. I am glad for Nandini's success, which is well deserved, and wish her many more successes. Nithya Menon is fresh and perfect for the role and Nani is just right and together they pull off their capers very believably. Certainly worth a watch!

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