Gautham (Bharath) is a good-for-nothing young vagabond, wandering the streets aimlessly with his friends. He has been irresponsible with his education too, having been disbarred from appearing for his degree examinations, since he was in an exam. His parents despair of his future and wonder if he will ever get an ounce of sense and responsibility in him.
Gautham meets Narmada (Genelia), quite by accident one day, when a load-bearing cart overturns and she tries to help the poor cart-puller out. Gautham, the irreverent chauvinist here, tells her that he will help because after all, “A man should do a man’s job and a woman should be in her place”… Not at all pleased with his remarks, Narmada snubs him and walks away in a huff.
Fate brings them together again when Gautham is returning to Chennai from a Mumbai visit, where he had attended a friend’s wedding. While travelling in the train back home, he meets Narmada again; this time they spend more time together, thanks to the train being stalled en-route for 3 days due to some technical problems.
Their Romance starts off with the usual little arguments, quarrels and skirmishes, then some making up and finally, predictably, something very akin to love. At Chennai, they part ways as a couple in love.
Gautham decides (perhaps because of his new relationship and feelings for Narmada) that he needs to start settling down in life. Heat his friends’ company where they hire out vehicles, including modified ones, for all types of film shootings.
…and Gautham and Narmada meet again. Gautham is sent in a police uniform to a film shoot, in a vehicle modified as a police car. When Narmada meets him by chance, she is surprised and thinks he is a real cop. Gautham, of course, doesn’t want to shatter her dream-bubble with the prosaic truth and plays along. She wonders why he didn’t tell her during their train romance, but is so happy that he has such a responsible job, she proposes her love to him. Not clarifying the situation, again, he accepts and reciprocates.
Now the twists in the tale begin…
Narmada happens to meet Gautham’s father, who then laments to her of his useless son. This conversation, and a series of subsequent events, result in the romance breaking apart. Narmada is heartbroken and indignant and wants out.
Life goes on, melancholy as ever, until the day Gautham gathers his courage and spills all to her. Love blooms again.
Of course, just when one starts to think that this is a simple love story and anticipates a happy ending, director Vikraman introduces complications that force the youngsters to fight for their love and to be together. Some nasty fights, a whole lot of running around, chases all the way to Mumbai and back and some more fighting back later, the film draws to a great ending.
Director Vikraman, the man who started Ilayathalapathy Vijay on his trip to superstardom with Poovey Unakkaga, has left his mark on Chennai Kadhal also, with his clipped and crisp dialogues. Like his other good films Un Idatthil Yennai Kudutthen, Suryavamsam, etc., Vikraman’s style is characteristic here too. He has tried to tell an old formula in a new way – in Chennai Kadhal, he has mostly succeeded. Still, sometimes he has left behind a feeling of having already watched a situation like this. Antony’s editing is, as usual, slick. The music of the film is enjoyable, but the RR (re-recording) could have been done a tad better.
Bharath’s acting, as usual, is natural and good. His role of a hot-blooded young man suits him and this is yet another plus point of histrionics in favour of this movie. Genelia, as Narmada, plays her limited part well, and is an able foil by emoting with her eyes when Bharat is emoting without words.
Is this a happy love story? Not really.
Has Vikraman introduced any surprises – nasty or otherwise – in his narration? Yes.
Is this movie merely an action flick for Bharath or yet another different role he has chosen?
Watch Chennai Kadhal to know.
Banner : V. Creations.
Producer : Kalaipuli S. Dhanu
Director : Vikraman
Music Director : Joshua Sridhar
Cast : Bharath, Genelia, Radha Ravi
Date of Release : 8th December, 2006