As a regular Tamil cinema viewer, I found Chennaiyil Oru Naal (CON) not brilliant, but far, far better than the usual, run-of-the-mill commercial Tamil film. It takes guts to even attempt to make such a film in these times when every second film is either a love story or a revenge-drama.
The film may be another racy thriller where all characters race
against time, but it scores high on deft presentation and emphasis
on the importance of organ donation. Except for one major flaw
featuring a leading actor in a cameo, CON stands apart as
a film to look forward to.
Based on the Malayalam film Traffic, CON
intertwines the lives of certain characters and connects them
through one common incident. In Vellore,
the 13-year-old daughter of actor Gautham Krishna, named Ria, is in
need of a heart transplant. Her condition is deteriorating with
every passing minute even as the multi-millionaire father is ready
to pay any price for a heart.
Meanwhile, in Chennai, Karthik, a TV show
host-cum-journalist, on his first day to work is knocked down at
traffic signal by a speeding car. At hospital, he is declared brain
dead, with few hours left to live. A doctor, who has learnt about
both the cases discusses the probability of donating Karthik's
heart to Ria in not more than 90 minutes.
The mission is to transport a heart from Chennai to Vellore,
approximately 150 km, in about 90 minutes. Police commissioner
Sundarapandian takes the responsibility of overseeing the
mission, while traffic constable Satyamoorthy volunteers to drive
the heart to the destination. Doctor Robin too, joins the mission.
Will Satyamoorthy and Robin be able to transport the heart on time?
This forms the rest of the story.
Based on true events that took place in Chennai few years back, CON is a rare gem in Tamil cinema that despite its hyperlink narration, succeeds in striking a chord with the audience. Initially, the film struggles to develop tension, but when it finally does, it only elevates it with some twists and revelations in the story. Continue reading the review on the slideshow...
The history of the characters is not narrated in the usual
fashion, but aptly introduced at crucial junctures of the film, for
us to understand the connection between the characters and what
they have in common. It is very likely that some may find this
attempt irritating, as it is a rather novel style of
One of the annoying parts of the film is the cameo featuring
Suriya. It is at this juncture that one realises how what, until
that moment was an extremely good film, could possibly be ruined by
a senseless cameo.
This particular scene forces the film to tread the commercial
cinema path even though it doesn't want to. Despite this
shortcoming, CON is a neatly executed, one-of-its-kind
This is one of the biggest multi-starrer films in the history of
Tamil cinema, yet all actors share equal screen presence. While not
everybody shone in his or her role, in the main, the actors
Sarath Kumar as the police commissioner definitely stood out,
while Lakshmy Ramakrishnan, in her powerful brief appearance tugs
at heart strings with her performance. Cheran and Prasanna turn in
Shaheed Khader shows skill and dedication in his work as the
director. Not only does he make you hinge to the seats, he also
makes you mull over the need for organ donors. Screenplay by
Bobby-Sanjay definitely steals the limelight.
For once, this is worthwhile alternate cinema that deserves the
time audiences will give it.