After delivering an impressive anthology in the form of Sillu Karuppatti, director Halitha Shameem is back with her next film, Aelay, which stars Samuthirakani and Manikandan in the lead roles. Both of them have already worked with Halitha in Sillu Karuppatti and this is their second outing with the talented filmmaker. Aelay showed good promise with its teaser and trailer and the film buffs were eager to catch the film. The time has come now. We have watched the film in a special preview show and here is what you need to know!
As the film opens, we see Parthi (Manikandan) coming to his village to attend the funeral of his father, Muthukutty (Samuthirakani). However, he does not shed a single drop of tear seeing his mortal remains, and instead, he goes out and eats a plate of parotta at a hotel. It is established that Parthi does not like his father Muthukutty due to certain bad experiences in his childhood. Later, in the funeral night, something unexpected happens and Parthi is completely shaken. What happened at Muthukutty’s funeral and did Parthi finally shed tears for his father, forms the crux of Aelay.
Coming to the performances, Samuthirakani is an absolute delight to watch and he is in complete form. Aelay is a striking makeover for him. With a charming screen presence, he showcases different emotions and scores well. Be it the funny moments in the first half or the emotional moments in the second half, he gives it all for Aelay. Manikandan also delivers very impressive performance and his eyes speak so much. After Kaala and Sillu Karuppatti, this is another memorable outing for Manikandan. Madhumathi is a good find and she shows solid promise. The rest of the cast is quite impressive and natural and making the villagers act adds to the nativity.
Director Halitha Shameem stands out for depicting human emotions in a very beautiful manner and she has a good command over her craft. After Poovarasam Pee Pee and Sillu Karuppatti, Halitha Shameem has once again delivered quite an impressive film, despite a few issues. Halitha showcases two different perspectives to Muthukutty’s character and the transitions in the edit happen smoothly. The interval twist definitely gives a high and sets a solid base for the second half.
However, the problem starts only there. It feels like the film is overstretched with new characters and subplots popping up and consuming unnecessary screen time. The portions involving Madhumathi’s groom don’t add much to the film. For a certain section of the audience, the film would appear to be slow. The pace of the film and a longer runtime are probably some of the concerns in Aelay and Halitha could have made the film even more crispier. Also, the romantic portions between Manikandan and Madhumathi could have been better. If you could ignore these issues and watch the film for its positives, Aelay is definitely an enjoyable film.
Aelay has a fun and positive vibe to it and Halitha and cinematographer Theni Eswar capture the human emotions neatly. The visuals look aesthetically pleasing and Theni Eswar elevates the quality of the film with his solid work. Vinoth Rajkumar’s art work is impressive and it adds more authenticity to the film. Kaber Vasuki’s songs are quite fresh and goes along with the film, while Aruldev’s background music is quirky and helps in enhancing the emotions.
*AELAY WILL HAVE ITS WORLD TV PREMIERE ON FEBRUARY 28 (SUNDAY) @ 3 PM IN VIJAY TV!
Verdict: Despite being overstretched, Aelay is a delightful watch with some beautiful moments!