Language: Tamil

Cast: Atharvaa Murali, Megha Akash, Sathish

Director: R. Kannan

Boomerang opens with Shiva being wheeled into a hospital. He has severe burns. His face is a mass of prosthetic goo. The doctor suggests a face transplant, courtesy a brain-dead patient who looks like Atharvaa. It works. The surgery takes place. The bandages come off and Shiva now looks like… Atharvaa. But what did Shiva look like before he was disfigured? We learn from Gee Gee (Megha Akash) that he was no great looker. That’s why she rejected him — because if she said yes, people would say “Oh look, such a pretty girl and such an average-looking boy”, and she wouldn’t be able to take it. With such a sensitive heart, it’s a surprise she didn’t join a convent and begin work in the slums of Kolkata. Okay, bad joke. But the ones by Sathish, here, are worse. I’d tell you how much worse if I remembered any of them.

After wasting a LOT of time with uninspired comedy and uninspired romance, it’s time for uninspired drama. Shiva is knocked off his bike by a lorry. We know at once that his face donor was the target of the attack. A little later, someone tries to knife him. Now, Shiva, too, knows that his face donor was the target of this attack. And we settle into an uninspired second-half flashback where the donor (named Shakthi) is revealed to be an IT employee who, when fired, decides to become a farmer. Because he has some land and because they did an agro-tech project for the Netherlands. As life decisions go, it’s on par with Gee Gee rejecting Shiva because he was merely an okay looker. But hey, at least the writing is consistent. Consistently bad.

What promised to be pulpy fun, with the face swap, turns into a dully earnest story about river-linking. If we are going to continue to thrust serious issues into masala narratives, can we at least have better writing and filmmaking? (Boomerang is written and directed by R Kannan.) The moment you hear Gee Gee (who’s a filmmaker) talk about killing her script’s villain with epinephrine, you know it will become the basis of a major plot development. Oh, Indhuja Ravichandran is in here somewhere, in a ridiculous role, which is when you realise the significance of the title. For women in Tamil cinema, knowing the language and knowing how to act can boomerang on you.

Rating:   star

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