Cast: Dhanush, Shruti Hassan, Prabhu, Banupriya, Rohini; Director: Aishwarya Dhanush; Music: Anirudh

Aishwarya has worked as Selvaraghavan’s assistant. Dhanush has played most of Selvaraghavan’s characters; therefore psychologically disturbed characters are not new to both the director and the actor. Aishwarya is only the third of the female directors attempting that profession in the male-dominated Tamil film industry. The ‘leaked’ song ‘Why this Kolaveri-di’ had gone viral months ahead of the film’s release and has become the most recognised song in India. So the expectations hit the peak for the film which, on hindsight, should have been unfair on the debut director, although by the time I got to watch the film, all the hype had dried up.

So, as I watched the scenes unfold in ‘3’, as Dhanush and Shruti began courting as school children, the question kept arising in the impatient mind: What’s your point? If the director had any deeper resonance to point out to us during these excruciatingly lengthy courtship scenes, alas, we missed it.

Suddenly, in one moment, the story changes to show that Dhanush has a psychological disorder. What came up in my mind were those 80s Rajini films such as Sivappu Suriyan, Thanga Magan, etc., that are evidently filmed without any pre-written script. Those films start with no apparent purpose, yet with general goofing around – the hero-heroine’s mandatory rivalry before they fall in love, the comedian’s share of clowning, hero’s apparent heroism in fighting and chasing off some local goondas, all that take place in a series of non-related scenes, until, somewhere in the middle of the movie, someone suddenly pops up and informs the hero that, when he was a child, his parents had been killed by a major mafia don. Enraged, the hero stops all his goofing around and gets ready to avenge his parents’ death, which, of course, forms the rest of the film. We can hence deduce that, during the shooting, someone had obviously told the director that the film was going rudderless and needed some anchoring point. Clueless, the director chose the easiest and time tested route – avenging one’s parents’ murder.

In modern times, no one bothers about avenging anything and for Selvaraghavan’s students masochism has better appeal. So, to reconstruct the events, somewhere during the shooting of courtship scenes, someone must have told Aishwarya that the story was going rudderless and needed an anchoring point. What’s the best choice but to afflict the hero with some psychological trouble! Voila, our poor hero, all of a sudden, gets this disorder and then, well, and then nothing really happens.

3 is the laziest, least imaginative and least original film I have seen in the last two years. And, mind you, I have seen films like Vettai and Velayudham and I can confidently state that the directors of those trash entertainers had at least taken some effort in engaging the viewer plausibly. Aishwarya makes no such efforts and believes that bucket-loads of tears from Shruti and Dhanush are more than sufficient to melt the viewer’s heart. Well, we did indeed cry, but not for the characters.