How can one explain the state of mind of an experienced director like Selvaa who refuses to evolve? His other works may not fill the pages of history, but some of them have been decent entertainers. This time, being his own production, he probably decided to take it easy and it shows.
Naanga starts with the sudden awakening of Devi, a patient who has been comatose for 25 years and she becomes national news. Here starts the effort of all her long lost middle aged friends to get together to fulfill her unrealized dream. It is the story of 6 boys and 4 girls and is narrated episodically through each of these characters and their own stories all of which lead up to the final story of Devi and Mani. The different stories include the one about an Ilayaraja fan who has a singer girlfriend, a boy who falls for his older neighbour, a boy trying to impress the cop father of his girlfriend, a love story fuelled by the college elections and finally, the unfulfilled romance of poor boy Mani and Devi who is harassed by her fianc uncle. Though all the lovers are not united, they all end up learning valuable lessons about life.
This badly researched film gets the look completely wrong. Everyone is seen in the 70s look while the film happens in 1985 when that look had gone completely out of vogue. All the men have been given ill-fitting wigs that threaten to fall off any time. The main leads comprising of new comers are not great lookers for sure and seem like better dancers than actors. Kasturi plays a half baked role of an older woman wooed by a younger man. Her well meaning and platonic angle to the relationship gets completely over shadowed in her oomph. The supporting cast except Raj Kapoor and KSG Venkatesh, are unknown and dont help improve the film either. The cuts to past and present are hardly seamless and are even jerky at times. While the pacing is somewhat consistent in the first half, the second half bores you to death.
Balabharathys songs sound dated but suit the mood of the film. Cinematography is plain ordinary. What is the idea behind having supposedly realistic backdrops and walls where the paint is peeling off when the film is not even remotely arty?
Selvaa should probably stop churning out films like he is a factory when he is just an average film maker. With just a little more dedication, he would be helping himself a great deal.