Film_Companion_Genius__lead 3_23rd Oct

Susienthiran is back with Genius after the Sundeep Kishan-starrer Nenjil Thunivirundhal (2017). The film has first-timer Roshan (who has also produced the film), Priya Laal, Meera Krishnan and Aadukalam Naren in pivotal roles. It’s after Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu and Aadhalal Kaadhal Seiveer, that the filmmaker has roped in a bunch of newcomers. If one thought Rajapattai was Susienthiran’s worst film, then here’s Genius. A television soap would have been more interesting and less predictable.

Plot: The film attempts to discuss the current-day education system and  the adverse effects of pressurising a child to score well. The protagonist (an IT professional) suffers a breakdown due to work related stress as he’s made to work continuously for three days. How he bounces back to normalcy after an implausible twist (post-interval) forms the rest of the story.

What Works

  • The core idea (how parental pressure can have negative effects on children) is interesting,  even though the script-to-screen translation doesn’t really work.
  • Susienthiran’s previous venture, Nenjil Thunivirundhal was pulled down from the theatres, after which it was trimmed by more than 20-minutes. The run-time of Genius is thankfully just one-hour-and-forty-five minutes.
  • Among all characters, Meera Krishnan’s and Aadukalam Naren’s are well etched. You care less for Roshan although his body language is naturally funny.
  • The child artiste who played the younger version of Roshan was brilliant. I’d have loved to watch him more.
  • Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music and Vairamuthu’s lyrics are the saving grace, though none of the songs have any recall value.
  • RB Gurudev’s visuals are enriching, particularly, in songs (Vilaiyadu Magane, Neengalum Oorum, Silu Silu Sil).

Also Read: Baradwaj Rangan’s Review of Nenjil Thunivirunthal

What Doesn’t

  • The film is also about schizophrenia. Midway through the film, I could see the audience also experience a schizophrenic reaction, unable to understand what was happening.
  • It’s quite apparent that both writing and direction have gone haywire. Nobody’s asking to make path-breaking films, but some sense, please?

Final Word: During the press meet, Susienthiran had said Aamir Khan’s PK inspired him to make Genius. I’m compelled to say thank you very much. I think he should go back to his strengths and make movies like Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu and Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai where the storyline really mattered. Also, I heard he pitched the story to Allu Arjun and Jayam Ravi. The actors should thank their stars for not accepting this film.

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