Remakes are difficult, particularly when the original is a National Award-winning film with a sensitive topic that might be controversial for many viewers. But RJ Balaji and NJ Saravanan were able to utilize Badhaai Ho’s spirit and produce an amusing movie that makes us laugh out loud while also eliciting both sad and joyful emotions. Veetla Vishesham Movie Review: Remakes are tough, especially when the original is a National Award-winning film with a contentious theme. However, RJ Balaji and NJ Saravanan succeeded in capturing the essence of Badhaai Ho while still coming up with an entertaining film that causes us to laugh out loud as well as shed tears of joy.
The story focuses on a typical middle-class family: Unnikrishnan (Sathyara), who works for the railway, his homemaker wife Krishnaveni (Urvashi), and their two children Ilango (RJ Balaji), a 20-something biology teacher, and Anirudh (Visvesh), a high school student, as well as Ammulu, the elderly mother of Anirudh. Despite their modest circumstances, Unni and Krishnaveni are a loving pair; following one intimate night together, they learn that the latter has conceived.
Krishnaveni decides to have the kid, but they’re more concerned about how their friends and family would react to the news, especially their two sons. Will Ilango and Anirudh be able to accept this reality and embrace their parents’ decisions?
Given that Badhaai Ho was written well, the filmmakers here stick to the source, making only minor modifications to the material that provide a local touch to this universal narrative. Making Ilango’s job work is one of them. That a seemingly progressive biology teacher who is interested in giving his pupils sex education can’t handle the fact that his parents are possibly having an active sex life sends up the irony of his position and society’s double standards.
Even the inclusion of a slant on women having the right to choose between a normal and cesarean delivery appears well-intentioned, yet the makers use a somewhat over-the-top comedic tone (over a heartfelt moment) to convey this ‘message.’ The movie also wins our trust by its genuine progressive attitude.
In fact, the entire film has a somewhat greater volume than the original. While this doesn’t detract from its impact or message, it does leave us with a could-have-been-better sensation in some spots. The acting isn’t quite as strong as what we got in Badhaai Ho, either. While Urvashi takes her part seriously, some of Sathyaraj’s humor, such as his brief film hobby.
KPAC Lalitha, too, provides a powerful performance. However, while RJ Balaji is effective in the humorous sequences — such as when he makes his girlfriend Sowmya (Aparna Balamurali) sneak into his apartment secretly — he fails to achieve emotional impact in key moments like when he confronts Sowmya’s mother and defends his parents. He delivers this statement even as he sways back and forth, which is distracting body language that detracts from the emotional power of the scene.
To be sure, there are several blunders in the script. However, Balaji and Saravanan make good use of them. And with Girishh Gopalakrishnan’s emotive score that lifts the emotions in dramatic sequences, the pair manages to smooth out these creases.
Cast Leads: Sathyaraj, Aparna Balamurali, Urvashi
Director: RJ Balaji, N.J. Saravanan
Producer: Boney Kapoor
Written by: Kiranraj K, K.N. Vijay Kumar, Satheesh Muthukulam
Music: Girishh, Gopalakrishnan
Director Of Photography: Karthik Muthukumar