Ayalaan review: What also makes Ayalaan an engaging watch is how, despite its rather predictable opening half, R Ravikumar dials up the pace and action a notch in the latter half
Ayalaan story: After an extraterrestrial element ‘Sparc’ ends up in the hands of an evil corporation, an alien sets about to retrieve it. Along his journey, he meets a good-hearted man, who also challenges what he has been taught about humans. Together they team up to get back the element before the corporation uses it to wreak havoc on Earth.
Ayalaan review: In the first half of R Ravikumar’s Ayalaan, as an adult, you could be predicting the sequence one after the other. The main reason for this is you have seen it before in Hollywood movies such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Paul, along with the smatterings of Real Steel and a few superhero movies thrown in. But even as you do, the characters in Ayalaan – from a naïve and good-hearted Tamizh (Sivakarthikeyan), Tattoo the alien to a motley crew of men who run a ‘surprise-party’ business – would still appeal to you. Ravikumar is so confident about what the film is that as soon as the audience realises it’s a kids-friendly film made on a mega-budget with elements that could appeal to all, one is completely in for the ride.
Though mostly a children’s sci-fi entertainer, Sivakarthikeyan’s film is fun – because it throws curveballs every now and then to keep the adults engaged. What starts out as an alien adventure soon evolves into a fun superhero-origin story, which many might have seen in other films, but still feels every bit as endearing because of the two protagonists – Tamizh and Tattoo, voiced by Siddharth. In fact, Ravikumar presenting Tattoo as an alien, who isn’t initially afraid of humans during his first confrontation and is rather confident and cocky, makes it a fresh presentation – even though his powers of telekinesis and telepathy aren’t novel.
What also makes Ayalaan an engaging watch is how, despite its rather predictable opening half, the filmmaker dials up the pace and action a notch in the latter half – all the while keeping it simple for the target audience. These sequences – which include high-speed chase, robo fight, global destruction, alien-human experimentation and Earth-boring laser – add to the spectacle of Ayalaan, thereby elevating from a predictable ‘seen-before’ entertainer into a fun sci-fi entertainer that melds the best of everything. The VFX team have outdone themselves in the film, to keep these scenes convincing, as it could have easily slipped to the ‘silly’ territory.
That Ravikumar and team were also aware of the comparisons that the film could draw, including that with Shankar’s Enthiran, makes the movie even more enjoyable – with the tongue-in-cheek comments to Robo and even Tony Stark drawing chuckles.
Ayalaan, however, does have its share of problems and this mostly happens in the first half, when the sequences are drawn out. Even though the aim was to establish the friendship between Tattoo and his human friends, the scenes aren’t novel and the result is also predictable. Had the first half been trimmed down, the overall film could have benefitted even more – considering that the makers had saved the best for the last.
Sivakarthikeyan has a blast playing Tamizh, as it’s more into his forte of comedy entertainers. The comedy in the film mostly comes from the sidekicks – essayed by Yogi Babu and Karunakaran. Rakul Preet Singh doesn’t have too much to do, while Sharad Kelkar, who plays the main antagonist, needed to be made more menacing – especially with the powers he inherits. Isha Koppikar as his ruthless lieutenant is also a fun addition. However, the villains required to be better written for them have an impact, just like AR Rahman’s music that doesn’t leave an impression.
Ayalaan verdict: While Ayalaan has a somewhat predictable storyline, the VFX of the film and its fun storytelling aided by appealing characters make this a great festive watch for the families, especially with the children.