Behindwoods Rating: 2.25/5
CAST AND CREW
Production: KE Gnanavel Raja, Studio Green
Cast: Kajal Aggarwal, Karthi, Santhanam
Direction: M Rajesh
Screenplay: M Rajesh
Story: M Rajesh
Background score: S Thaman
Cinematography: Sakthi Saravanan
Dialogues: M Rajesh
Editing: Vivek Harshan
Dance choreography: Dinesh, Raju Sundaram
Singers: Javed Ali, Rahul Nambiar, Shreya Ghoshal, Sooraj Santhosh, Sri Vardhini, Suchith Suresan, Vijay Yesudas
Lyrics : Na. Muthukumar
Distribution: Studio Green
All in All Azhaguraja is the 4th comedy entertainer from director Rajesh and this time it is Karthi teaming up with the 'Comedy Superstar' Santhanam. The movie is expected to continue the director's enviable run so far.
The movie follows the regular Rajesh 'family entertainer' template and it tries to offer maximum laughs to the audience for the price of their ticket money. Can Santhanam manage to lift the fortunes of yet another Rajesh movie?
Karthi plays Raja, the head of a local cable channel while Santhanam plays Kalyanam, his employee, side-kick and 'Man Friday' rolled into one. Raja falls for 'Chitra' Devi Priya, a stubborn young woman with dreams of making it as an artist, come what may. The rest of the movie is obviously about how he gets her hand, with a few odds stacked against him.
From 'Nanben Da' in Boss to 'Factu Factu' in OKOK, Santhanam's one-liners in Rajesh's movies are always on the mark. Here it is 'Oh Ho Na Na' and though it sounds funny, the comedian overuses it.
Karthi and Santhanam have shared good vibes in movies like Siruthai and Saguni but here the magic isn't to be seen regularly. But the way they address each other officially as 'MD Sir' and 'Officer Sir', stands out. Santhanam is still a show stealer whenever he is on screen. Such is the variety of expressions on his visage.
Veteran actors Kota Srinivasa Rao, M.S.Bhaskar and Naren showcase their comedic abilities while Saranya Ponvannan continues to get typecast. This role offers nothing to meet her outstanding abilities. Prabhu plays Karthi's dad with typical authority and confidence.
Though the 80s flashback is intentionally over-the-top, Karthik's body language and voice modulation as the junior Prabhu is commendable. The actor sure has put in the efforts. Santhanam shines as the Kaali Annan, reminding us of the legendary Suruli Rajan. Karthi and Santhanam's makeover and efforts are appreciable, and the references to the popular movies of that era and particularly Superstar Rajini, will make you smile.
Karthi eases through his role. His dancing skills have improved noticeably and he looks handsome and fit. The addition of a needless little heroism element to the interval segment sticks out sorely.
Kajal Agarwal looks simple, charming and carries off her ethnic costumes very well, thanks to her slender and shapely frame. All her efforts to learn dance under the tutoring of M.S.Bhaskar offer a few enjoyable moments in the second half. In the same way, when she confidently goes about singing in the most untrained and unpleasant manner possible, Karthi's reactions are hilarious. Towards the end, Kajal, Karthi and Naren are involved in a little 'passing the parcel' exercise where Kajal is caught between her lover and dad, as they try to convince her about her future.
Thaman's numbers such as 'Yaarukkum Sollama', 'Unnai Partha' and 'All in All' sound good, and his background score for Santhanam's Kareena Chopra portions are delightful. Speaking of Kareena Chopra, Santhanam’s elaborate makeover, costumes and props are authentic to say the least.
The length of the movie works against it and with the absence of scenes which will make you roll over in boisterous laughter, the movie could have used some trimming. Though the laughs are spread across a few moments, when AAA is pitted against Rajesh's other wholesome 'laughathons' such as OKOK and Boss, it falls way short.
Verdict: All in All Azhaguraja lacks the Rajesh - Santhanam magic