Biriyani Review - Some Ingredients Missing
Venkat Prabhu is back after his successful Mankatha after 2 years. The director has now joined hands with Karthi who is desperate for a comeback. Termed as "Venkat Prabhu's Diet", does Biriyani have all the ingredients in right mix and cooked to perfection necessary to satisfy the fans?
The playboy "Sugan"(Karthi) and his friend "Parasu"(Premji)'s pursuit to buy Biriyani after getting drunk, one late night, land them in a murder plot. They are now suspects on the run while cops and bad people try to nail them. How the lead characters get themselves out of the difficult situation forms the crux of rest of the story.
Story, Screenplay and Direction
Venkat Prabhu has infused a number of his usual flavors -- humor, action, suspense, glamour, and music in right proportions to deliver a fairly well-cooked offering this time. The two halves of the movie have different structure and pacing. The first half takes a while to get warmed up. The story starts unfolding only in the last few reels before the interval break. The second half is the saving grace, picks up pace as it untangles the knots and suspense in a seemingly interesting fashion.
Similar to "Goa", director may be taking it too casually at times and goes overboard at times. There are a number of scenes where there are supposedly voice-overs and on-screen characters talking to the audience. In one such scene, Venkat Prabhu stops Premgi short of saying his dialogue "Enna Koduma..." claiming the shelf-life of that dialogue is over. Another scene explaining Jai's guest presence is also along similar vein. Even though this may bring some chuckles, it often derails audience focus.
Karthi tries hard to look like a playboy role. Karthi delivers as usual with his modulation and comic timing. Only difference in Karthi's looks is that he sports a colored eye lenses. However, his style of acting over the last 4 movies have all been similar and not much variation seen during the actor's early part of his career. Premgi brings laughter in some of the scenes with his self-effacing jokes. Premgi also helps Karthi deliver some punch lines in his characteristic style. There is overdose of Premgi as he continues to become repetitive in the type of roles, expressions and dialogues.
Hansika has minimal screen space. Hansika's role is limited to flashing her signature cute smiles and shakes her legs for a couple of songs. Ramki and Nasser play their part well. Ramki is back on the big screen after a long break. Expect Ramki to do another round in the industry. Venkat Prabhu's usual gang members play relatively small roles throughout the movie.
Music and Technical Department
Yuvan's songs are already chart busters. However, the song picturizations are at the best can be termed as average. The visuals lack grandeur. The background music gels well with the flow. Biriyani continues with the Tamil movie trend of borrowing BGMs from song-tracks from classic hit songs for funny sequences. Technically, cinematography and editing departments have done what is expected of them.
Repeated reference to Mankatha shows that the team has not really got over Mankatha hangover even after 2 years. There is a "Mankatha" birthday flash mob song as a tribute to please Ajith and Ajith fans.
Final Note: Director's Irresponsibility
Director Venkat Prabhu continues to glorify drunken driving in every movie. Similar to Mankatha where Ajith drives in drunken stupor, there is another scene involving Karthi and Premgi discussing the experience of taking a long car drive while drinking 'chilled beer' and listening to Ilaiyaraja songs. There are also a number of scenes demeaning women -- repeatedly calling women as "piece", portraying as subjects of sexual interest, and hero laughing at girls based on looks to name a few. Censors should probably take a tougher look at such socially irresponsible scenes instead of harping on minor things.