Chennai 2 Singapore
Review: Films centred around the struggle of aspiring filmmakers are aplenty in Tamil cinema. In recent times, we have had this tale being told as a gangster movie (Jigarthanda), an experimental indie (Kathai Thirakathai Vasanam Iyakkam), a heist movie (Kallappadam) and a masala movie (Masala Padam). Chennai2Singapore gives us the story of a struggling filmmaker as a screwball comedy.
The film’s protagonist is the down-on-luck Harish (Gokul Anand), who is hoping to make his first film. After being cheated by a producer in Chennai, he goes to Singapore to meet another one, but his back luck follows him across the seas. Soon, Harish gets into a situation where he is stranded in the country with no hope of going back. He meets Vaanampadi (Rajesh Balachandiran), a small-time cinematographer, who takes him to Michael (Shiv Keshav), a businessman, who wants to produce a romantic film for his concubine. But then Harish lays eyes on Roshini (Anju Kurian), and all his plans go for a toss.
Chennai2Singapore wants to be a madcap comedy involving over-the-top characters and illogical circumstances. And it does offer moments when it gets close to achieving its goal. A final act involving empty-headed gangsters gives us an idea of the kind of film Abbas Akbar is after. Composer Ghibran, who is also a co-writer and producer on the film, even nods at Michael Madana Kamarajan to give us what the intention here is. And this sequence is funny, and has a couple of moments that make us laugh out loud.
However, Abbas Akbar doesn’t sustain this tone throughout. The film is quite uneven; for every scene that generates a laugh or two, we get a couple that are dead weight, especially in the first half. The Chennai-set portions are frankly cringe-worthy. Even the visuals are flat, despite the setting being Singapore.
As for the romance, it is built in quite a flimsy manner, right from the meet-cute. For how long will filmmakers try to present a guy breaking and entering into a girl’s bedroom as a romantic gesture? Here, Roshini becomes impressed just because she wakes up to see that Rube Goldbergian contraption that Harish sets up in her room overnight as an alarm clock!
It is only the zany music, Rajesh Balachandiran’s motormouth act (which does get close to being irritating at times), and the final portions that manage to restore some amount of fun into the proceedings.