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Review Tamil

Kolamaavu Kokila review: Nayanthara, Yogi Babu shine in engaging black comedy

Release Date: 17 Aug 2018 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 20min

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Manigandan KR

Director Nelson's Kolamaavu Kokila brings to light the troubles that a middle-class working girl has to face in today's society.

Director Nelson's film, Kolamaavu Kokila, appears to be a simple funny story when one looks at it superficially. In reality though, it is an extremely interesting one that highlights social problems in a manner that isn't boring. In other words, the film is deep in its own unique way. Not only does it require great skill to write a story like this, it also requires competent actors to bring the characters to life. To Nelson's credit, he has managed to do both — narrate his story well and also get his star cast right.

Kokila (Nayanthara) is a middle-class working girl, whose income is essential for her family's subsistence. Her family of four comprises her dad, her mother (Saranya Ponvannan) and her sister (Jacqueline).

Kokila has a problem with her manager as the man gives her an increment of just Rs200 instead of the several thousands that is actually due to her. When questioned about it, he says he can give her a raise only if he gets to know about her requirements for which she will have to meet him "out of office in private". She is shunted for her refusal.  

Having been shown the door, she looks for other openings and finds a manager's job in a spa. Her dad, who works as a watchman in an ATM, is worried that her new job profile might affect her prospects of finding a good bridegroom. Kokila is, however, least bothered by this development for she makes Rs8,000 more in her new job. Just when things begin to look up, bad luck strikes and the family gets to know that her mother has lung cancer and her treatment will require several lakhs.

If untreated, her mom will have just two to three months to live. Kokila desperately tries all her sources to generate the required funds for her mother's treatment, but to no avail. Wherever she goes, doors are shut. People either question her ability to repay the sum or simply expect her to sleep with them. With no option left, Kokila and her sister decide to meet a broker and sell off a piece of land that the family owns. However, the broker tells them that the land will not fetch them more than a lakh and that too, only when a suitable buyer comes forward to buy it.

Disheartened by the developments and wondering what to do next, Kokila has a chance encounter with a broker, and afterward a drug peddler. As the peddler is nabbed by the police in a raid, Kokila finds herself in a different problem. Life will never be the same again for the middle-class working girl...

The film, which is primarily a black comedy, tells the difficulties a middle-class working woman has to undergo in today's society in a manner that is not emotionally draining. In the process, Nelson also deftly drives home the point that women can rise up to a challenge and adapt themselves to any situation, as and when required.

The story idea is fresh. What's more, the plot has adequate twists and turns to keep the audiences engaged. It is nothing like anything that the Tamil audiences have so far witnessed. And that, by itself, is the film's biggest strength.

Next, Nayanthara plays a character that is quite different from her usual self. Be it her voice or her expressions, nothing is loud. Everything is in tone and kept to a bare minimum. The only expression which exceeds that minimum point is sorrow. Nayanthara cries on a couple of occasions and even that is done softly. But this expression is by far the loudest in the film. The impact this change in toning down of expressions and voice brings forth a new facet of Nayanthara, which is far more intriguing than the one that viewers have so far known. Full marks to the actress for having carried the film comfortably on her shoulders.

Yogi Babu is to be given equal credit for the entertainment the film provides. The man, who plays a roadside Romeo who invests Rs10 lakh to set up a grocery shop just opposite Nayanthara's home, in the hope that someday he can win her heart, is just downright funny from start to finish. In fact, his jokes work big time and regale audiences so much that not even the story of a middle-class suffering woman who keeps running into difficult situations time and again seems heavy. His one-liners are funny and his retorts are devastatingly savage. If Kolamaavu Kokila is entertaining, this man is one of the biggest reasons for it.

The film also has two brilliant performances, one each coming from Charles Vinoth who plays Mohan and Hareesh Peradi who plays Bhai. Both of them play villains in the film and they both deliver the goods.

Charles Vinoth's character in particular is a difficult one to portray as he plays a don, who has been thrashed by a cop and as a result has suffered a blow to his spine. His character cannot move his head around and has to have it transfixed in a particular position. Through the film, the man keeps his head in exactly the same position even as he exhibits a series of varied expressions. The difficult part is that while his expressions seem serious to the characters in the film, they appear funny to the audiences.

For instance, there is a sequence in the film where Nayanthara insists that she will continue to deliver drugs only if Vinoth tracks down the mole in his gang. Vinoth, in a bid to restore her confidence in the gang, zeroes in on two persons. He nabs the mole and shoots him in front of Nayanthara to give her confidence. That expression of confidence and victory he exhibits quickly changes to one of horror and anxiety when Nayanthara insists that he kill the other man too to nullify any chance of the mole escaping. The manner in which he handles this scene deserves special appreciation.

On the flip side, some of the sequences aren't too convincing. For instance, the manner in which Kokila negotiates her freedom with the cops isn't one bit believable. Then, there is another sequence in the film when one is not sure if events in it are happening on the same day or on subsequent days.

Moving on to the technical aspects of the film, Kolamaavu Kokila has a fantastic background score by Anirudh. His numbers for this film have already worked big time. In particular, the 'Kalyaana Vayasu' number has become a rage amongst youngsters. There is nothing extraordinary about Sivakumar Vijay's cinematography, but there is also nothing to complain about.

If one has to sum it all up, this black comedy by Nelson has more than just entertainment in store for its audiences.


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