Why Bala, why? Why did you make this film? What were you thinking? What were your motives? Every time I witnessed those words “a film by Bala” on screen before today at the end of every movie of yours, I used to be immersed in a sea of sadness and contemplation. But today as I walked out of Rakki cinemas, like I did two years before (spellbound after watching the first show of your Naan Kadavul on the first day), all I could sense was an air of disappointment surrounding me! When all those Mani Ratnam and Gautam Menon fans used to intimidate me and try to convert me to their religion, I used to stand there with all the pride in the world, defending my idol, my hero. But today, here I am, battered and bruised, hapless and helpless. Simply because, the one thing that has been a consistent ingredient in your arsenal was found missing: the storyline!
I still have to give you credit for leaving us petrified and tongue-tied in the last half an hour. I still have to give you credit for taking us back into your dark dens of depression. I still can’t write you off because you can make us gape at the screen in surprise and pleasure as you introduce your hero in the most bizarre way. But I can’t tolerate my favourite director making his protagonist ask his love, “un pant la zip irukka illaya? Zip irukka, appo Ethukku?” I can’t stand a pointless first half which lazes around with not an iota of relevance to the main story, though a normal director can get away citing entertainment value as the reason for providing meaningless comic relief. I can’t stand an array of mostly crass jokes besieging me, though a considerable part of the cinema hall was laughing it out. I must admit that there were a few funny exchanges and rib-ticklers here and there, but I’d definitely and most obviously expect more than inconsistent humour from a man of your stature.
Does this film need romantic interludes? Did the story warrant a guest appearance from a big star? Does “THE” Bala sir need to employ a gimmicky scene to bring out the acting prowess in an actor even though Vishal and Yuvan exploited the opportunity to the hilt? How barefaced can it get? Why did you have to wait for a sizeable 100 minutes before you started narrating your story? Why do you have to look at alternate avenues when you can keep us greedy and asking for more everytime you belt out a movie very much in your comfort zone? Why do you have to deliberately attempt a forced brand of humour when you can effectively intersperse comedy in your mainstream narration. When all the characters who were assumed to be comedians and sidekicks exhibited astounding dimensions and impacted the storyline in a subtle yet substantial way in your earlier ventures, why the indifference and unfair bias in your latest avatar? Why did you have to get the best out of Na.Muthukumar only to leave him high and dry without visual support?
Many people may still find your latest venture appealing, thanks to inspiring performances from Arya and Vishal(surprise, surprise: another actor is born out of the Bala camp.terrfic effort) whose fans may find this a treat. But you have let one of your biggest fans down. I have already started anticipating your next movie because I know you’re only going to come back stronger. I know the wait is going to be a long, as it has always been but I know you’d treat us to a refreshingly vivid spring once the drought is over.
A Bala fanatic (forever)