Being an advertiser turned director gives you ample scope to market your movie but marketing alone will not make a movie successful. A movie’s success relies more in the content rather the supporting technical wizardry and marketing. 180 is one such movie that relied mostly on new age marketing with an old age content.
Let me break the suspense of why the name 180. It’s 180 days that’s given to Siddharth’s character (Ajay/Mano) to live in this world. The movie starts with a bang at the banks of Ganga in Kasi, where Ajay (Siddharth) is given a silent discourse on death. He moves to Chennai, takes up a new name and ends up in a rented house with SVS Murthy and his wife (Mouli and Geetha). A believer of living for the day concept, he does odd jobs like paper supply, selling sundal, ironing clothes etc., and meets Vidya (Nithya Menon), a visual reporter in a Tamil daily. Vidya attracted by the characteristics of Ajay, falls in love with him and ends up in an accident when he tries to flee away from her. Ajay takes her to US for a complicated spine surgery.
Ajay’s back story is revealed in US where he was a doctor and married to Renuka (Priya Anand), an interior designer. During a regular test for insurance, its found that Ajay has terminal pancreatic cancer and will die in 6 months (180 days). Ajay loses his mind and it affects Renuka. Looking at her predicament, Ajay flees away to India to save her from the torture. Whether he gets back to Renuka or accepts the love of Vidya is told in a languid and boring manner
There are only a few things that are good about the movie. Balasubrmaniem, the cinematographer has made wonderful work out of the beautiful locales given to him. The 3600 frames/sec shot Vuvuzela song is brilliant and even the usually seen Chennai looks entirely different through his lenses. Sharetth Vasudevan‘s songs (not the background score) is scintillating. Each song is quite different from the other. The complexity of tunes baffles you but you tend to love the complexity. Madhan Karky’s lyrics accentuates the sweetness of the songs. Nee Korinaal, AJ and Sandhikkatha are the good ones in the album. Siddharth’s restrained acting is another plus point to the movie and Mouli is good as usual. The small paper boy is a surprise package.
The pluses end there. Like Ravanan, 180 takes you for a lonely planet city tour through Balasubramaniem’s camera. The screenplay craves for pace and with an age old story like this, the twist looks more like a joke. Other than Siddharth, both Nithya Menon and Priyaa look misplaced in their roles. Priyaa doesn’t evoke the much needed sympathy nor Nithya, the effervescence needed for her role. Surprisingly, Sharetth let me down with his background score where he stuck to the safer route of reiterating his songs. You can actually guess the next song through the BGM, that’s how predictable it is. Jayendra, the director has tried to work on a shoe string story that lacks novelty and has believed sheer marketing will work out ( I admired their song selling idea, using twitter for character interactions with the audience etc.,). More than marketing, star cast and good supporting technical brilliance, history has shown us that a strong story and screenplay is the winning point of the movie. We have seen many established directors taken for a ride for the lack of it. After watching 180, I thought Jayendra should have stuck to filming ad videos instead of making this movie.
180 – Zero Degree – 1/5 only for the cinematography and songs. Give it a miss