3 (2012)

Director: Aishwarya Dhanush
Casts: Dhanush, Shruthi Hassan, Siva Karthigeyan, Sundar Ramu
Music: Anirudh
Language: Tamil
Genre: Romance


‘Why this Kolaveri’ have become a tag line to this romantic thriller ‘3’ which marks the directorial debut of Aishwarya Dhanush, thanks to the minimalistic promotional video which was released few months back. After a 50 million over hits in the YouTube, the film’s expectations have been sky high. To reach further, the young team also released 4 trailers and 4 teasers which maximised the promotional strength of ‘3’. So has ‘3’ lived up to its incidentally gained hype?

Quick Synopsis:  ‘3’ starts off with a flashback mode, travelling back to the college lives of Ram (Dhanush) and Janani (Shruthi) where they fall in love at first sight. After much cute incidents and attempts, Janani too declares her love for Ram. The film then moves on to the early 20s of the couple’s life and they get married, going over the decisions of their parents. Eventually their parents accept their marriage but fate has other plans for them.

Story – Screenplay

‘3’ as all have expected, highlights 3 stages of Ram and Janani’s life. The film starts off with the high school chapter where Ram and Janani meet for the first time. That chapter of the film is the best out of all the chapters, due to its fresh dialogues, silent convey of love between the lead characters and the innocence injected to it. The feel good factor is at its most on the chapter of the film. The interesting facts such as the ‘speed breaker’ joke, girls pushing the bicycle rather than riding it and the very first confession scene of the couples, shows the warmth and realism of a first love. There are also interesting friend characters coming in here and there making the existing feel good factor, an entertaining one too.

The second chapter where the film shows their early 20s is a short one but lacks much logic. Even when Dhanush’s parents accept their decision to marriage, the marriage happens at a bar alone. This is not the only example, there are many examples in the film where Prabhu and Banupriya are shown as supportive parents but not even utilised at the struggling point of the lead characters.

The final chapter is a contrasting shift (portraying the marriage life of the couple), where the film moves to its darkest point, transiting from a ‘feel good’ romantic drama to a psychological thriller. The bipolar disorder factor is interesting but using the unknown green human figures adds gives an unintentional comedic feel. The main illogical factor of Dhanush deciding not to tell anyone about the disorder kills half of the sympathetic feel the makers wanted to create. Talking about unintentional comedy, ‘3’ unfortunately has many such scenes and another to mention is prolong outburst of crying scenes of Rohini and Shruthi at many scenes. The main factor in the screenplay which acts against the film is the given away twist at the very first shot/scene of the film. (Will avoid explaining further to avoid spoilers)  There are also many unexplained redundant scenes at the present time scenes (e.g. the muted conversation between the police officers and Janani, etc.).

Casting & Performance 

Honestly, the casting and performance of ‘3’ have managed to keep the film above the waters. Dhanush lives as Ram and his transition from a young innocent school boy to, an energetic young adult to finally a mental patient is convincing. However, it is unavoidable to say that the hangover of ‘Mayakkam Enna’ can be felt at many places, partly due to the story too. 

Shruthi does her role well but her sudden outburst of crying scenes portrays her as an actor who is trying too hard. 

Sundar Ramu continues from where he left from Mayakkam Enna but has thoroughly improved in his expressions and rendition. He is a big pillar of strength at the second half. 

Siva Karthigeyan’s presence is a scream with clever ‘punches’. He contributes almost half of the impact of the first half and he certainly improved from ‘Marina’. Other casts such as Prabhu, Rohini and Banupriya are just ok. In overall, Dhanush carries the film on his shoulder at many times as usual.


Velraj’s cinematography is poetic, especially at the first chapter. He brings in the mood of each chapter effectively with different colour tones and light. The camera work of ‘Idhazhlin Oram’ and ‘Kannazhaga’ are simply astonishing. Dance choreographers, Kalayan, Brindha and Baskar must be mentioned for the interesting yet realistic craft of the songs.  Unlike many, I felt that ‘Why this Kolaveri’s’ visual was simple yet catchy. 

But the song looks forced into the script somehow and lyrics does not reflect the situation of the story directly. However, editor, Kola Baskar could have trimmed down certain scenes of the second half and made the prolonging scenes crisper.

Next, the music director,  Anirudh. Enough have been said about this young prodigy’s songs, but what even top that is the engaging BGMs. He is certainly a strong weapon for holding onto the audiences even when the second half goes messy. In overall, technicality is one of the most relied factors of the film unfortunately.


Aishwarya Dhanush has to be praised for her matured directorial debut but what made her fumble is the messy screenplay at the second half. However, kudos to her for the ability to derive the best out of the technicians (music, camera, editing), bringing out fresh visuals and music. It is inevitable for anyone to compare the film to ‘Mayakkam Enna’ especially when it is still fresh in our mind. 

However, it is not fair for the film to be compared too. ‘3’ is genuine on its own way and the main novel factor of the film is the ‘first love’ theory which is powerfully portrayed impact fully through the three stages. Unfortunately, the injections of bipolar disorder segment have been a serious overdose making the audience have the opposite reactions of what was intended. Moreover, the over expectations and hype have also created a deep hole for it to climb out.

Verdict: Poetic first half pulled down by the tiring pace of second half.

Rating: 3/5


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