Ennodu Vilayadu – A Gripping Tale let down by a Mundane Script
Movie Review by Anirudh Madhav (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Ennodu Vilayadu (Play with Me) is loosely based on the culture of horse racing and betting culture and the lives of two individuals. Written and directed by debutant Arun Krishnasami, the film features an intriguing storyline which is hampered to an extent by a whimsical screenplay.
Vikram (Bharath) plays the role of an accountant in a construction company and is also a compulsive horse punter. He amasses large amounts of debt with various banks owing to his repeated losses at horse races. Sridhar (Kathir) moves to the city for work and stays in at Inba’s (Sanchita Shetty) house. Trouble begins to brew when a bag of money ends up in Sridhar’s car, dragging him into a conflict between Vikram and Nagulan (Radha Ravi), a big shot who enters the horse racing business after five years.
The first half of the film consists of relentless clichéd dialogues between Vikram and his girlfriend Minnie (Chandini). Kathir, who has been averse to women all his life, falls in love with Inba, who is in need of money to reclaim her paternal house. With an inane script, Arun Krishnasami fails to maximize Vikram’s potential on-screen.
Horse racer Sharma (Yog Jaypee) and Nagulan have little impact on the film because of their occasional appearances. The film picks up pace after the interval, with multiple characters hunting for the money. Vikram also makes one last attempt to win a bet at the horse races. Director Arun manages to grab the attention of the audience in the climactic scenes of the film using the horse race and the unpredictable scoreboard.
Yuva’s camerawork in the movie has a positive impact, but Sudarshan M. Kumar’s music is a letdown. Despite the clichéd romantic storyline, the film consists of a well-researched plot as well as some engaging moments, making it a gripping watch.
Director Arun could have further utilized the potential of Bharath and Kathir with a stronger script that focused more on the world of horse racing and betting. With romantic scenes occupying a large part of the film, the script needed more focus on its dialogues. While it is evident that the horseracing has been well-researched for the purpose of the film, as evidenced by the excellently portrayed murky side of horse racing and betting, the film doesn’t delve enough into the sport itself.