Photograph from the film '3'
Four months after the release of the record-breaking Youtube hit ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’, Aishwariya Dhanush’s directorial debut, ‘3’, hits the big screen.
Named '3' because the film supposedly narrates three stages in the characters' lives, the film is a romance on paper and a thriller on screen. Revealed in flashbacks, the story showcases the romantic evolution of Ram (Dhanush) and Janani (Shruti).
The beginning of the film, which starts off with their school days, is the most enjoyable albeit predictable. Whilst Dhanush is completely at ease in his school-boy role - a role reminiscent of his ‘Thulluvadho Ilamai’ looks - Shruti's mature and modern ‘high-fashion’ image appears less congruent with her innocent school-girl role. Nevertheless, the direction and acting excel at recreating the innocence and awkwardness of young love. And of course no teen drama is complete without comic one-liners from the hero’s trusty sidekick, here in the form of Kumaran (Siva Karthikeyan). The remainder of the film chronicles the wedding and fairy tale married life of Ram and Janani, before giving way to a few dramatic revelations.
Despite a relatively simple script, Aishwariya does well to engage the audience emotionally, and her cast do not disappoint. Remaining mindful of cultural taboos, '3' contains some moments of intimacy between the protagonists which are sensational for Tamil cinema.
Award-winning performances are nothing new to Dhanush, still riding on his ‘Aadukalam’ high, however, determined not to be outdone, it is Shruti that carries the whole show. Beyond evoking extreme emotions with inspiring authenticity, what is most notable about her acting skills is that she expresses emotion without inhibitions. When Shruti cries (and she does this a lot) it appears genuine and distressing. Her face distorts with raw human emotion - not the Kodak moment cry so familiar to most Tamil heroines.
While some occurrences in the second half appeared illogical, overall 3 continues to be a remarkably well made movie. The award-winning cinematographer Velraj creates some breathtaking shots, ensuring that the story is carried in a contemporary, Hollywood style that is beginning to trend in Kollywood.
Although the videos to the soundtrack may not live up to the hype created by the audio release, the background music and soundtrack by Anirudh fit seamlessly into the atmosphere of the film.
If you’ve listened to the soundtrack, watched the trailers and are expecting a light-hearted romantic masala, your expectations will be tragically crushed. ‘3’ is a serious film, it showcases strong emotions and the potential for extremes within human beings. Ultimately the film reveals where loving someone too much could take you. It could much sooner win awards than smash the box office but it is well worth a watch... as long as you’re prepared to have your heart potentially broken in the process.
Watch if you liked: Mayakkam Enna, Deiva Thirumagal, 180