I always have respect for people who experiment in Tamil movies.Some of the experiments have gone horribly wrong but some have become the forerunner for movies of the future. I wanted to see the first venture of the directing duo Hari Shankar and Hareesh Narayan – Orr Eravu (2010), the first protagonist point of view film in India (remember The Blair Witch Project). But I couldn’t and didn’t want to miss their latest venture in thriller/horror genre of Tamil Cinema.
Ambuli is the first sterescopic full length 3D film in Tamil. Amudhan (Ajay) and Vendhaan (Srijith) are students in a college situated nearby Poomadanthipuram, a village bordered by corn field on one side and river on the other. Amudhan’s beau Poongavanam (Sanam) is the daughter of the Poomadanthipuram’s chieftain and Amudhan stays back with Vendhan in the hostel to find a chance to meet her. Vendhan is the son of the watchman (Thambi Ramayaa) who guards the college. The village people never traverse through the corn field as they believe that Ambuli (a human that looks like an animal) will kill people, who travel through the corn field. Their suspicions are substantiated by the continuous murders in the vicinity of the field. Amudhan, who goes through the corn field to meet Poongavanam is attacked by Ambuli and Vendhan starts to investigate the mystery. The mystery unfolds through a well handled screenplay.
First things first, kudos to the directors for attempting and providing a complete 3D movie and choosing a thriller subject to do so. The biggest strength of the movie is the well written screenplay and the impeccable casting. The use of new faces actually gives the believability in the proceedings and keeps the audience at the edge of the seats because there is always a small string of doubt that the young protagonists will fail. The supporting cast of Thambi Ramayaa, Jagan and the special appearance by Parthiban gives a fillip to the movie.The concept of mixing myth and science is surprisingly convincing in this movie than any other that I have seen.
Ambuli has it own set of flaws. The usage of NIFT campus for showing some of the college scenes is very odd as the story takes place during the 1970s. But otherwise the settings and costume design fits perfectly. The excessive usage of 3D in the initial parts of the movie is an eye sore for people like me but even the normal audience were yelling mindlessly. Songs are the biggest hindrance to a movie like this and the movie lacks thrills during some of the right moments, especially when they find the sketch of Ambuli. The dialogue writer could have avoided some obvious mistakes like the reference to Rekha’s spectacles. The movie happens in the late 70s and Kadalora Kavithaaigal was released in 1986!!! The story writers could have avoided the storytelling title sequence because it allowed people like me to guess the movie, but during the break I understood that I am the only person who figured it out while all of them were suspecting that Parthiban was Ambuli.
Despite all these flaws, Ambuli didn’t fail to entertain. The efforts of makeup man and the stunt co-ordinator is evident during the final sequence and you will definitely like it (children may not!!!). A little bit more care in execution would have made this movie a forerunner for a string of similar thrillers in Tamil. All said and done, it’s worth the watch for the innovative effort.
Ambuli 3D – 3/5 for the first step in Tamil 3D films
1. Ajay committed suicide before the release of the movie because of alleged love failure with his co-actress Sanam.
2.Gokul, who does mime in Maanada Mayilada program has been cast as Ambuli in this movie. In a program, he said that he is doing one another similar role. Probably, he will become the Andy Serkis of Tamil movies :P. A brilliant debut.