Movie Review: ‘Trisha Illana Nayanthara’ – A fun sex comedy that isn’t bold enough

Cast: G.V Prakash Kumar, Anandi, Manisha Yadav, VTV Ganesh, Simran and Arya

Director: Adhik Ravichandran

Language: Tamil

Rating: ***

Debutant Adhik Ravichandran’s “Trisha Illana Nayanthara”, an A-certified adult comedy, was promoted as the boldest Tamil film of this generation, and as strictly intended for adults. It’s bold to an extent, but not quite enough and that’s disappointing, considering it was Tamil cinema’s first attempt at the genre and I wish they had gone all the way.

I mean, with an A certificate the makers were so proud about, why not give us an unadulterated sex comedy; why dilute it with family sentiment?

G.V. Prakash plays Jeeva, a jilted lover stuck between Ramya (Anandi) and Aditi (Manisha Yadav). Their mothers give birth to them around the same time in the hospital. When they’re put in the cradles, Jeeva mysteriously ends up in the middle with Ramya and Aditi on either side.

Jeeva’s uncle jokes about it and from an early age, they like each other. The childhood sequences are fun to watch, especially the scene where the trio uses a cussword substitute to get back at a bully.

Adhik shows a lot of promise as a filmmaker with good understanding of what young audiences want. In a lovely scene, when Ramya offers her cheek for Jeeva to kiss, and when he does, water gushes upward from a nearby pipe.

It’s his first kiss and one need not have to explain the water reference because it subtly hints at coming of age. In another scene, when Aditi invites Jeeva to her room at 1 a.m., he drinks a little out of anxiety. He goes to her room, tries to wake her up, but in vain. Aditi pretends to be fast asleep and when he leaves the room, her friend asks her why would she invite him and disappoint. Aditi says men drive aggressively when they’re drunk and she’s afraid of speed. She doesn’t like men who drink and drive. Get the point?

It’s a lovely scene and you can’t stop yourself from laughing, even though it means awkwardly. But I really wish Adhik didn’t restrict himself. I mean, why settle with these funny references when you had the license to go all guns blazing. Because when most youngsters today grew up watching “American Pie” and probably came of age watching Sunny Leone’s X-rated films, what’s the harm in giving them a localized version of Hollywood sex comedies?

When both the women dump Jeeva, veteran actress Simran comes into the picture. She plays Anandi’s aunt and helps Jeeva to win her back. But I was expecting her to be a cougar; the kind of role we have mostly seen in such films.

The film respects and disrespects women at the same time. There’s so much hatred against women, but Aditi’s character stands testimonial to the equal freedom they deserve. It’s nice of Adhik that he presents both point of views and expects us to not judge.

In a scene, when Jeeva finds out that Aditi drinks too, he lectures her about how unsafe it’s for women to drink and what would happen if they are found drunk on road. Aditi enjoys her freedom and says she wouldn’t stop drinking just because he doesn’t like it. In another scene, Jeeva is heartbroken when he finds out Ramya has lost her virginity to someone else after they broke up.

Jeeva expects women to not drink and be a virgin until marriage. Imagine what would happen if women expect the same from men? Even though his approach to make a valid point may not be taken in the right spirit, especially by women, Adhik is a filmmaker you can’t easily write off.

G.V. Prakash may not be a great actor, but he sure does know how to play to the gallery, even when the joke is on his character most of the times. He’s definitely improved as an actor from his last film “Darling”. He now delivers one-liners with ease and aces the dance moves. Anandi is decent as contemporary, middle-class girl while Manisha ensures to keep the glamour meter charged throughout the film.

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