Sugan (Karthi) is a playboy always chasing women much to friend Parasu (Premgi)’s chagrin as he always loses out. Despite his flirtatious nature, Sugan is in love with news reporter, Priyanka (Hansika). One night after a drunken drive outside Chennai, Sugan and Parasu run into a sexy femme fatale, Maya (Mandy Thakkar) at a biriyani eatery and she invites them to her hotel room. They have drinks and are flirting with her when business tycoon Vardharajan (Nasser) comes there. Maya hides them in the bathroom where they pass out. When they wake up the next day, they cannot remember the events of the night before. And then in the boot of their car, they find the body of Vardharajan (Nasser), who has been shot and who was being investigated by the CBI for shady business dealings…
When he reviewed Jack (1996) and ripped it apart mercilessly, well-known critic Barry Norman happened to mention that you couldn’t believe the name of the director in the film’s credits is the same as that of one who also directed the Godfather trilogy. Surely this was a poor cousin and not the same person, he had said sarcastically. Similarly, here you cannot believe that the Venkat Prabhu who directed the wonderful Chennai 600028 (2007) is the same person who er… directed this totally inedible diet called Biriyani.
Although, on one level it is not really that surprising, as Venkat Prabhu’s films have been progressively getting worse and worse and in that sense, Biriyani plays true to form, being several rungs lower than his previous outing, Mankatha. That was a film I was disappointed by but could still see how Ajith’s star power helped it sail through. But just how bad and inept Biriyani is, is shocking. What could have been an exciting Hitchcockian comedy-thriller of an ordinary man caught in an extra-ordinary situation with both the goons and the cops after him, is reduced to a crass, unfunny, sorry excuse of a film.
There’s no single factor really causing to the film’s mediocrity. A combination of a silly plot, some sloppy inconsistent writing and direction, unmemorable music (Yuvan Shankar Raja obviously thought his 100th film wasn’t an important enough landmark to give it something special), inane choreography, lousy songs picturizations, and above all, the surprisingly tacky technicalities all have a major role to play. And by the time Venkat Prabhu gives you his final twist, you are beyond caring for the film or its characters. The ‘Venkat Prabhu moments’ like Jai’s blink and miss scene and the flash mob tribute to Thala Ajith don’t quite come off either.
Have I left out anything? Oh yes, the weak acting of the main cast, which doesn’t help the film either. Karthi is way OTT as the loveable roguish (yes, AGAIN!) playboy while Premgi is plain irritating, lost in a competition with himself as to how wide he can open his mouth in each scene. Hansika, in her limited role shows yet again what an embarrassment she is as an actress., while Sampath and Ramki are wasted. Only veteran Nasser gives the film its one redeeming acting moment in the scene when he is supposed to be Premgi disguised as himself and Uma Riaz Khan kicks real ass and acquits herself really well as the hit-woman!
It being the holiday season, there were quite a few people I have to admit in the theatre, but barring one group of youngsters, who laughed at Premgi’s antics, no one else really did. Mostly, they just looked stiff bored as did I. I just hope this travesty of a film has not put me off eating Biriyani forever.
Tamil, Action, Drama, Comedy, Color