The fate of a good intentioned film sans the elements of
entertainment always lies in the hands of the audiences. It's
extremely difficult to judge the pulse of the viewers nowadays
because they're exposed to all kinds of cinema - from regular
commercial material to art house and independent films.
A highly-anticipated film can turn out to be a dud and the most unexpected low-budget movie can rake in the moolah. Vivek-starrer Naan Than Bala, which dares to explore an uncharted territory, faces a similar fate at the box office as it doesn't feature all the necessary elements to please the entertainment deprived audiences of Tamil cinema.
Stepping out of his comfort zone as a comedian, Vivek dons a
very serious role of that of a temple priest in the film.
When Poochi, a man Bala has never met in his life, comes forth
to help him free his aged father from jail for a crime he never
committed, he decides to spend the rest of his life in his service.
Bala believes Poochi is the reincarnation of god and it is his duty
to serve him till his last breath.
But Poochi is a paid assassin, one who has murdered many for a
price and helped Bala free his father from the money he received
for killing someone. Bala confronts Poochi and convinces him to
surrender to police by turning approver and turn against his
When most comedians are turning heroes to cash in on their
popularity, Vivek attempts to inspire his fans with his earnest
effort. With utmost sincerity and dedication, he transforms into a
priest, recites shlokas in impeccable Sanskrit and still has his
sense of humour intact and uses it occasionally in the
We see the best of Vivek in Naan Than Bala that we haven't
witnessed in a very long time, not even in his most successful
comic roles. He makes us root for the actor who has been concealed
under the comedian in him for ages.
The problem is not with Vivek's decision to don a serious role,
but the film's treatment of the subject at hand. Some of the
important dialogues are not in sync with the present era, while the
melodrama reminds us of television serials as it makes you
sympathetic but fails to strike an emotional chord deep
Sankrit Verses Fail
The use of Sanskrit verses more often in the film is also a turn
off because audiences seldom appreciate its intent. Also, the
reference to the tale from Mahabharat comes too late when it should
have ideally been used to develop the film's story from the
Despite Vivek's noteworthy performance, the movie suffers
overall because of its sluggish narrative and mediocre performances
by the rest of the cast.
Vivek Takes Huge Responsibility
No matter how hard Vivek tried to shoulder the film
singlehandedly, it fails to keep us hooked when other actors take
the center stage and perform poorly.
Verdict: Shoddy writing and direction makes
Naan Than Bala a boring film despite good intention.