Engeyum Eppodhum Review – A Different Kinda Film

By Chennai Arun

Engeyum Eppodhum is a new Tamil film that hit the screens the other day.

Directed by M.Saravanan, previously an assistant to the thieving swine aka A.R.Murugadoss and jointly produced by the Thiruttu LaKaBa (thieving wine) and Fox Star Studios, Engeyyum Eppodhum stars Jai, Anjali, Ananya and Sarvanand.

Sathya has composed the music.

Not a Romantic Comedy

First, Engeyum Eppodhum is strictly speaking not a romantic comedy.

Though it has a gentle dose of healthy, realistic humor (not seen generally in Tamil cinema), it remains largely a dramatic film.

As a film, Engeyum Eppodhum cannot be slotted in any particular genre. But if you guys insist on pigeonholing the film into a genre we’ll slot it under romance-drama.

Second, you do not have the cliched Kollywood formula of villains, fights and those tiresome chases with Aruval (sickle) in hand.

The path of romance for the love birds runs smooth and clean here.

No clash of egos, no fight between the leads etc.

This being an Indian film, of course, there are duets. And they are shot on the streets of Chennai and Trichy.

No foreign locations for the songs and no itemesque pelvis thrusting, derriere shaking, boobs jiggling vigorous dances.

Engeyum Eppodhum is a non-formulaic, different kind of a Tamil film that audiences here do not see often.

You have a pretty breezy and effective first half.

Jai plays a character named Kathiresan and Anjali is Manimegalai.

They both travel to Jai’s native village from Trichy on a bus heading to Chennai.

Then there’s Ananya, playing a sweet character called Amuda, who is traveling on a bus from Chennai to Trichy to meet her lover Gautham (Sarvanand).

What happens next forms the rest of the story.

The opening scene features two buses colliding on the highway. And we get to know that these are the buses in which the lead pairs are traveling.

So what happens to them?

Do they die along with the other passengers or do they survive? (There’s a subtle message in the film on the perils of over-speeding.)

The characters Kathiresan and Amuda reminisce on how love came into their lives.

Kathiresan living in Trichy, is a tools factory worker earning Rs 9,000 per month. He occasionally flirts with Manimegalai, who is living nearby.

After Manimegalai tests Kathiresan’s love for her, love blossoms between the two.

The chemistry between the actors is strong but since the characterization of Anjali is flawed she is is unable to perform to her potential.

Jai does an effective job.

The romantic angle between Kathiresan and Manimegalai does not sparkle. But some of the healthy humor in the film comes from the situations that Kathiresan faces on account of their love.

Coming to the other love story, Amuda comes to Chennai for a job interview. She waits for her aunt at the Koyambedu bus stop who fails to make it as she is busy. So the aunt requests a stranger Gautham on telephone to take Amuda, waiting at the bus stand, to the interview place. As she is new to Chennai, Sarva assists her. He faces some taxing situations due to this issue. Finally, he does the assigned job and leaves Amuda at her aunt’s house.

Romance blossoms in Amuda after she leaves Chennai to return to Trichy.

Cut back to the present, you see the two buses approaching Villupuram.

Some of the characters in the bus are shown differently.

You have a dad who’s going to meet his kid for the first time after working five years in Dubai. You have a young, smart looking college student trying hard to romance a young woman. And there’s a group of schoolgirls going to Chennai after winning the cup in a sports event.

As the bus accident occurs, humanitarian efforts take over. Gautham and Manimegalai help the wounded passengers by getting them out of the bus to the hospital vans. Also you have locals of the accident area doing their bit.

Kathiresan (Jai) dies tragically in hospital and Manimegalai (Anjali) is distraught. All other relatives of the dead passengers cry out loud. Amuda (Ananya) is shown to be critical but she recovers.

Minus Points

1. Characterization and performance of Anjali.

2. Storyline is thin and falls flat.

3. The wails of the grieving people put me off. It is OK to showcase people’s emotions, but dragging it on for an extended  period does not make for great entertainment.

4. Jai’s character dies after the accident in the hospital but Amudha lives despite being more seriously injured. Just did not make sense. In fact, Kathiresan (Jai) is shown to be participating in relief and rescue efforts along with Manimegalai after the accident and then being sent in an ambulance van. Being shown as fit one moment and dead the next moment seemed weird.

5. Romantic angle between Jai and Anjali’s characters lacked logic and depth.

6. Too much screen time is focused on the travel part and not enough on the romance angle of the characters. So, the audience ends up experiencing a “travel hangover.”

7. Chemistry between Ananya and Sarvanand was good but could have been better.

Plus Points

1. Some of the situations faced by the lead actors are fresh, engaging and humorous.

2. Entertaining, breezy and crisp first half.

3. Highlighting the common issue of road accidents and weaving a romantic story around it. The humanitarian effort taken by the passengers to help others is a touching and realistic depiction on screen.

4. Good screenplay. Though it is in a non-linear fashion, it is enjoyable. But a straight-forward screenplay could have made the end-product better. Director Saravanan juggles too much between the present and the flashback sometimes confusing the audience.

5. Performances of Jai, Sarvanand and Ananya, who delivers her best performance to date in this film.

6. While all the songs sounded pleasing to my ears, the picturization could have been better for some songs.

7. The characterization of the bus passengers.

8. The technical aspects.

9. The romantic angle between Sarvanand and Ananya. The romance is deep but she falls in love with him after spending one day. They do know not much about each other, but still she loves him. Love is blind and, yes, logic-less too.

My Verdict

Average/Above Average.

My expectations of entertainment were not met. I expected a very different film.

The director tries his hand at a ‘new’ kind of cinema here.

But it’s not wholly new as it has been tried in the film “Rhythm” (involving a train accident) before by Vasanth. But here, the message is conveyed around the bus accident which is new.

Do not go to this film expecting a fairytale romance or candy floss romance. Do not go to this film with high expectations of ‘typical entertainment’ dished out by Tamil films.

For people who expect more substance and class over glossy entertainment, Engeyum Eppodhum may be the right kind of film.

17 Responses to "Engeyum Eppodhum Review – A Different Kinda Film"

  1. Aswin_Kini   September 18, 2011 at 2:05 am

    It’s good to see that atleast some directors in Kollywood are trying out different genres.
    Haven’t seen this film, But I have seen Anjali’s performance in Kattradhu Tamizh and Angadi Theru, she does have some amount of acting talent. She is better than the so-called heroines like Trisha, Nayanthara, Andrea et all Especially directors, who create small budget films.

    Btw, have you seen EERAM (Starring Aadhi, Sindhu Menon, and Nandha). The film is a decent one to watch. Perhaps, you could have a look into it over the next few months…It’s an above average film.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    SI hasn’t seen Eeram but Chennai Arun (author of the above review) may have watched it.

    • Aswin_Kini   September 20, 2011 at 6:23 am

      “SI hasn’t seen Eeram but Chennai Arun (author of the above review) may have watched it.”

      Ok. Let’s wait for Arun’s review then. I had also written a short review on Eeram in my blog some months ago. Perhaps it would provide you of some idea of the film.

      Note: I wish to mention that I have rated Eeram as GOOD when compared to the garbage films that Kollywood had released in 2009. While I cannot claim that you will like the film, you will surely find it to be more different than the usual one.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      You write: I had also written a short review on Eeram in my blog some months ago.

      Having an affair is hardly a horrendous or dastardly act (see your review) in any lexicon. Worse you’ve given away a crucial bit in the review (see your paragraph beginning with As he probes deeper…..

      • Aswin_Kini   September 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm

        “Having an affair is hardly a horrendous or dastardly act (see your review) in any lexicon. Worse you’ve given away a crucial bit in the review (see your paragraph beginning with As he probes deeper…..”
        Good feedback, will implement it in the future.

        Donno why you edited your complete response to my comment, but I happened to read the full version anyways.

        Your “wonderful” comment had a neat “F**K off” meaning written all over it. But having known you over the years, I did expect a response in this manner.

        Particularly loved this line “We don’t give a flying F*ck for your short or long review of Eeram” – Wow! Thanks a ton, your majesty.

        And boy, the paras which followed the above ones were precious, simply precious. Gave a pretty clear picture of what you think of certain people, who post comments on your blog.

        Lemme not waste your time and blog space anymore. Have a fabulous day!!!!!!

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        Stop whining, simpering & moaning.

        We edited the full version of our comment because it was too long and we thought the references to your love pangs might not interest others.

        And it’s hardly a secret that we don’t think much of anyone let alone the commenters here.

        • முனிAndy   September 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm

          :mrgreen: How many asses will you hurt.. Minna Assha and ippo Asswin.. :mrgreen:

          SearchIndia.com Responds:

          Well, at least now nobody can complain we’re sexist. 😉

  2. 1012900   September 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    “SI hasn’t seen Eeram but Chennai Arun (author of the above review) may have watched it.”

    I guess an Eeram review by Chennai Arun is on its way 🙂

    “Some of the characters in the bus are shown differently.

    You have a dad who’s going to meet his kid for the first time after working five years in Dubai. You have a young, smart looking college student trying hard to romance a young woman. And there’s a group of schoolgirls going to Chennai after winning the cup in a sports event.”

    This kinda reminds me of the Prakash Raj’s production Payanam. All the characters of the hijacked flight are shown differently. There is a wife who ran away from the house because she had a quarrel with her husband, a doctor, a retired colonel of the Indian Army, a husband and wife brahmin couple, a mimicry artist, a peace-loving padre, a superstar (this character seems to have been introduced just to mock the various superstars who repeatedly dish out crappy films but think they are some God or something) etc. All of them do a good job.

  3. Rajarajan   September 19, 2011 at 10:37 am



    This one looks promising!!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Yes, it does look promising.

    Ranbir Kapoor is perhaps the best actor we have among the Bollywood stars. Ranbir leaves even our other favorite Shahid Kapoor in the dust.

    But why get a Half-Paki girl for the female lead.

    Aren’t there other pretty faces in the world?

    It’s not as if Indians expect their heroines to act.

    This thing can’t even speak Hindi properly.

    Every Paki wishes nothing but destruction for India and its people.

  4. chennaiarun2007   September 21, 2011 at 8:20 am


    No review of Eeram by me..only a review of the film by SI would do justice to the film.SI needs to definitely watch that film.

    The only sticking points of Eeram,as far as Iam concerned, was that the climax lacked clarity and that the ghost reveals everything to the hero through a flashback rather the hero finding out the truth himself.So,the characterization of the hero was a bit flat in that particular scene.

    Thanks SI for honoring me by putting that post as a review.It was meant to be a random post..just like that of my post of Kaavalan.

    A review of the upcoming film Muran (Cheran,Prasanna) may be possible!!


  5. Hari   September 21, 2011 at 10:34 am

    chennaiarun – I agree with you that the climax of Eeram wasn’t upto the mark!!

    The movie could have been even better then!!

    But it was decent!! Infinite times better than the garbage that daily flows nowadays!

  6. Hari   September 21, 2011 at 11:16 am

    SI – can u please see & review Eeram if possible??

    SearchIndia.com Responds:


    • boopalanj   September 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      SI: Parkalam (Read: Not in your life!) 😉

    • boopalanj   September 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      By the way, compared with “Eeram”, I considered “Yaavarum Nalam” (13 B) to be well-thought and having good screen play except the climax.

  7. Hari   September 21, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    As for some more Tamil movies which are good, I would recommend you Sethu & Pithamagan, two of the finest movies of Vikram!!

    Have you watched them SI?? 🙂

    What’s your opinion on them??

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: What’s your opinion on them??

    You can see our opinions on Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Korean, Italian, German, French, Russian, Danish, Japanese and Chinese films here.

    BTW, Foreign movies are listed under Hollywood films.

    Usually (90% of the time), if we’ve seen a movie we’ve reviewed it.

    Sethu & Pithamagan, no idea if we’ve watched them. Pithamagan, likely not. Sethu, not sure if we’ve seen just the Hindi version (Salman Khan, Bhumika Chawla) or both.

  8. rama   September 29, 2011 at 1:37 am

    nice review SI….if some tamil movie gets an OK certificate from you..hmm then i think i can dare to see it…btw you mentioned Ranbir kapoor is a good actor..yes he is….will be happy if you could see and review Rocket Singh Salesman of the year (i thought the concept was excellent and Ranbir was really awesome) also Farhan akthar’s Karthik calling Karthik…
    I really enjoyed you smothering review of Ajith’s Mankaatha….I have always considered Ajith’s acting a crap after ‘ Vaali ‘. Have you seen the movie Mandhira Punnagai by Karu palaniappan..heard that its a very good off-beat tamil movie..Can you review that too ?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Engeyum … and Mankatha were reviewed by others.

    Rocket Singh & Karthik …. we’ll definitely watch. But it’ll be hard to get hold of the Mandhira Punnagai DVD here.

  9. deepa   September 29, 2011 at 3:40 am

    I gotta admit Eeram was def something different than the usual masala of course you can’t avoid certain cliches but nevertheless it was something different in a good way. Have you caught Vaanam? Its a Telegu movie retaken in Tamil with Simbu, Bharat, Anushka and Prakashraj in leading roles. Its also, everyone is different situations in their lifes and the final scene where they all end up in a hospital. Not too bad i must say, Simbu who played a different role in this movie was pretty impressive.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Vaanam? No, but watched the original Telugu version – Vedam.

  10. chennaiarun2007   October 10, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Hi Si,

    Before I post a review of Muppoludhum Un Karpanaigal,I thought maybe could post reviews of some more Tamil films.

    I do not know whether you have watched and reviewed this Tamil film, but it deserves to be posted here in this blog. If it is already reviewed, then it’s fine.But this film deserved to be watched by some of our bloggers.

    Here is my review of this fine film that released 10 years ago.I watched this film back then as a schoolboy and still remember this film.

    The review:

    Kutty (2001) film – A Gem of a Film

    Disclaimer: This is not a review of the Dhanush film of the same name.

    Second Disclaimer – Review Not by EssEye. 😉

    It is hard to find to watch a meaningful Tamil film nowadays.

    Engeyum Eppodhum was probably the recent such example. Even though it was based on a serious issue and had a different style, it was slightly formulaic too. So we go 10 years down the line in Tamil film history to unearth an offbeat, rare gem of a film called Kutty.

    Directed by Janaki Viswanathan and also co-produced by her, Kutty is a film based on child labour.The issue is not just about child labour, but also about the child’s ambitions and desires to live a free, normal life.

    The story:

    Kutty (Shweta) is a normal 10 or 12 year kid. She lives with her parents in a village down South. The parents are poor and work hard to earn a single meal everyday.Kutty is a girl who enjoys a carefree life with her friends. She is the most pampered child of her father (Nasser).Her mother dislikes the fact that he pampers her. The couple do have arguments because of this reason.

    Kutty’s mother wishes that Kutty would be of great help to do the household chores. But Nasser dislikes this. Being a potter by profession, he wishes that Kutty should not do manual labour like him and wants her to go to school. So, he tries hard to save some money for her future education.

    The father-daughter relationship in this film is very realistic. Nasser tries to protect Kutty from his wife whenever she tries to beat her. The love and affection that both share is truly a touching moment of the film.

    Kutty’s life takes a dramatic turn when her father is killed in a tragic road accident. On the way to his village on a bullock-cart, he and his group of friends are killed by a speeding lorry. Now the poor girl is at the mercy of her mother, who scolds and beats her often.She often grumbles that the father (Nasser) has pampered her and she does no manual or household work.Kutty cries and runs to her granny. The granny feels sorry for both Kutty and her mother.

    The granny suggests that she knows a childhood friend who can be of some help. So Kutty is sold off as a child maid to a rich couple in Chennai. A promise is being made that some money will be sent to Kutty’s mother to improve their financial condition. Her mother agrees to this proposition, but is worried that Kutty knows nothing about manual labour.Finally she is convinced by granny that they are really good people and will treat Kutty nicely.

    It is true and Kutty enjoys a decent life as a maid. The couple played by actors Kousalya and Ramesh Aravind, treat her with love and affection. But their son dislikes that. Despite being of the same age as Kutty, he treats her badly. He gets scolded by his parents but refuses to mend his bad manners. The entry of Ramesh’s mother in law (played by yesteryear actress M.N.Rajam) makes matters worse for Kutty.The son and mother in law both ill treat her. Kutty sobs and suffers all the pain as the couple watch helplessly. She wishes to go back to her lovely village and lead a happy life again. A flashback is shown where she once enjoyed a village festival with her dad and mother.

    A former maidservant who once worked at the apartment tells Kutty about the ill treatment she previously received by the same lady.

    Kutty’s desire to escape to her native village grows on. As she is uneducated, she is unable to find the route to her village. She asks a shop-owner (Vivek) to help her, but even he is unable to help her. A paan-walla helps her by sending her in a train. But is the train truly going to her village. Will she ever live the life that she dreams about? Will she be able to meet her mother in the village? The answers to these questions are revealed in an emotional climax. The character of the paan-walla is also revealed.

    An Eye-Opener

    Kutty is an eye-opener to all of us. It makes us sad and think about child labour.In Tamil Nadu, children below the age of 15 are employed in factories and shops.Kutty makes us feel how fortunate we are!!Watching Kutty gave me a guilt conscience.Inspite of tough laws against child labour, the menace has still not ended.


    Shweta is truly fabulous to watch. She emotes well on screen, making us instantly connect with her character. I would go on to say that she is a truly great actor that Darsheel Safary.

    Nasser shines in his portrayal of the lovable dad.M.N.Rajam, Kousalya and Ramesh Aravind also impress with their acting performances.


    The music composed by the maestro Illayaraja is delightful. The BGM is fantastic.


    The direction is fantastic. The story is good and the screenplay is tight enough to grab your attention. The film has no flaws but the only minus is that the story moves at a slightly slower pace initially.


    The film has also won critical acclaim and international awards. These are:

    2002 Cairo International Children’s Film Festival (Egypt)
    • Won – Special International Jury Prize – Kutty – J.K. Vishwanathan

    2002 National Film Awards (India)
    • Won – Silver Lotus Award – Best Child Artist – P. Shwetha
    • Won – Silver Lotus Award – Special Jury Award – Director – J.K. Vishwanathan

    Verdict: Must Watch Film.

  11. chennaiarun2007   October 12, 2011 at 9:52 am

    @ SI,

    Regarding my previous comment on Kutty(2001),here is a video of the film on YouTube.The streaming is a bit slow,but I hope you would enjoy.

    I am still shocked and surprised for two reasons:

    1. The first being you did not watch it this fine film.(Surprised)

    2. My post is a not a stand-alone review like Vedi or Engeyum Eppodhum.

    Perhaps you might have thought of a Vedi like bashing comments, but I assure you this is a fine film and deserves a stand-alone post. It is an older film,but I hope you would understand my point of view!!(Shocked)

    Anyways the decision is yours!!

    The video:


  12. vinith   November 23, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Watched Engeyum Eppodhum today. Not a great movie by any means but definitely a decent film and much much better than the usual kollywood junk. Though I disagree with some of Arun’s points, for the most part I agree with his review. One of those rare movies that had good humor, nice songs etc. Even the picturization was quite good.

    Watch it if you can get the DVD.

    Btw, the sad news is, though this film has a message against reckless driving, the number of accidents involving buses hasn’t gone down. Recently there was an accident involving a speeding bus that collided with a tanker carrying aviation fuel, from the rear. 8 people were charred to death as the fuel leaked out from the tanker and caused a fire by coming in contact with the bus engine. What a horrible thing to happen!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    We’ll see if the DVD has come out here.

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