CHENNAI 2 SINGAPORE (2017)



Critic - No.138
 Director: Abbas Akbar
Casts: Gokul Anand, Rajesh Balachandiran, Anju Kurian, Emcee Jesz, Shiv Kesav
Music: Ghibran
Language: Tamil
Genre: Comedy / Romance 

PLOT:
An aspiring film maker , Harish (Gokul Anand) makes his way to Singapore to look for investors to finance his dream movie. Just when Harish reaches closer to his dream with the help of Vaanambaadi (Rajesh Balachandiran), an eccentric Singaporean cameraman, he meets Roshini (Anju Kurian) who changes his perception of life.

REVIEW:
After attempting to make the film since 2011, finally the young team lead by Singaporean film maker, Abbas Akbar, has made it to release it in Singapore, Malaysia and India (at various dates) successfully. Marketed aggressively as a comedy caper that guarantees a clean laughathon, ‘Chennai 2 Singapore’ has not disappointed its audience. From the very first scene, where Gokul smashes everything in the producer’s office with the ‘Poda’ song break out, it’s established that this film is not your ordinary film maker struggle drama but a crazy tale of a crazy dream. The crazy graph evolves with the entry of Vaanambaadi who is unique, weird and funny at every action. For a character who makes us laugh throughout the film, we shouldn’t question the believability of it’s existence. Honestly, it’s a sheer love or hate character.

Though the film is treated with fresh witty one liners, subtexts and excellently staged situational comedy, it has some deep quotable dialogues about life that shows the maturity and potential of the director. Particularly the line about how dream should be the only thought as a man who thinks about only survival when drowning in a sea. With a super crisp first half that breaks into interval with a promising note, shifts gear from a romantic comedy to a pure, crazy, slapstick/visual comedy. It’s extremely difficult to throw in convincing laugh out loud moments every five minutes but the debut director has managed to do it quite naturally. Even though the climax looks a little extended, it pays a nice tribute to Crazy Mohan style of word play comedy and a cute homage to Kamal Hassan’s ‘Michael Madhana Kama Rajan’s climax outburst. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments during this scene. 

Despite making the audience forget the real plot most of the time, we have to admit that the film loses focus on it's story's goal most of the time. It’s quite unconvincing how Harish changes his long-time goal instantly after knowing Roshini’s health problem. The romantic track doesn’t feel relatable that dilutes the whole emotional graph of the film. There are not much stakes as well for the under developed love track. As a result, we fail to feel the urgency the film sets for both the goals. There are also a few logical loopholes especially the criminal atrocities present in a lawfully strict country like Singapore. Deeper themes like celebration of death and life doesn't really pick up.

However, most of theses plot problems and the lack of coherence in the screenplay doesn’t affect us from enjoying the wholesome fun the film offers. That is how strong the comedy is in this film. The film's biggest strength is that it is self aware that it's traveling in a spoof like structure and does not pretend to offer anything more than a 2 hour mindless fun.

Technically, the film looks rich with a colourful and breezy cinematography by Karthick Nallamuthu. Especially in the song ‘Vaadi Vaadi’, his arresting visuals are noteworthy. Ghibran, who has also co-produced the film, has given a passionate album that consist of songs from various genres. What elevates them is the way director Abbas Akbar has used the songs as a story telling tool than a speed breaker. 

Performance wise, Gokul Anand and Rajesh Balachandiran show great promise. Shiv Kesav and Emcee Jesz as a the comedy villains score and shine in the climax with their crazy antics. However same can’t be said by Anju Kurian who falls flat with an underdeveloped, one dimensional character that doesn’t really warrants the interest of the audience at any point.

VERDICT: 
With a clear conscious of craziness, 'Chennai 2 Singapore' is a solid, colourful laughathon that tickles your funny bone every five minutes, eclipsing its wafer-thin plot and emotions.

CELLULOID METER- 3.5/5:

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