Director: Mohammed Isaack
Cast: Aari, Ashna Zaveri, Athulya, Kaali Venkat, Sithara, Latha
Nagesh Thiraiyarangam begins with a disclaimer following the High Court’s direction: The film is not based on the late legendary actor Nagesh or his theater by the name. It is just a work of fiction.
NT joins the long list of horror films, which is fad in Tamil cinema. However, instead of the clichéd way of the story unveiling in a haunted bungalow or a dilapidated mansion, director Mohammed Isaack has chosen a theatre, which forms the adda of a ghost.
Nagesh (Aari) is unsuccessful in his home brokerage profession. He lives with his mom (Sithara), brother and sister (Athulya) who is a mute. He is frantically searching for a job in vain. Meanwhile, he meets a pretty girl (Ashna Zaveri) and falls for her. When he comes to know of his sister’s love affair, he sends his mother to discuss it with the boy’s parents. Though they agree for the marriage, there is a glitch in it. They demand a huge dowry from Nagesh. Now, Nagesh has no choice but to sell his old property Nagesh Thiraiyarangam owned by his family, but little does he realize that a ghost haunts the deserted theater and is waiting to take revenge on her detractors. And whomsoever ventures into it will perish. How Nagesh with his friends overcome the obstacles forms the rest.
Aari as usual is natural in his performance and delivers his best. Ashna is the routine heroine who adds to the glam quotient. Thoug Kaali Venkat’s antics and comic act is a bit clichéd, nevertheless, he manages to tickle the funny bones. Athulya Ravi is just about adequate despite given a meaty role. The first half is riddled with clichés, post intermission the pace picks up and it has its moments. The director has touched upon a relevant social message as well.
Technically, Naushad’s cinematography and Srikanth Deva’s rerecording (though a bit loud) go well with the theme of the film. However, song placement could have had some forethought. CG work too needs improvement. Had the director concentrated on the taut screenplay and edited the unwanted portions, the film, which had all the potential, would have become a substantial horror film. Now, it can be enjoyed only in parts!