Producer- Balaji Kapa
Cast- Shilambarasan T.R, Bharathi Raja, Nidhhi Agerwal, Bala Saravanan, Nandita Shweta, Harish Uthaman, Aruldoss and Munishkanth
Streaming on – Disney Plus Hotstar
Review by: Jyothi Venkatesh
Eeswaran, which has Silambarasan playing the titular role, too, is set in a small town in the outskirts of Tamil Nadu. The movie begins with a popular astrologer in the village making a prediction about the death of Periyasamy’s (Bharathirajaa) wife which turns out to be true in a few minutes. Periyasamy, a hardworking farmer and a dutiful dad to a few kids, raises them successfully, though the children become busy with their own lives as years pass by.
The film is the tedious and non winding story of Periyasamy’s large family and their intermittent but perennial internal squabbles. These villagers are landowners, who are modern enough to be able to video chat with their families, drive fancy cars, even spend on travelling abroad and have a large clout with the political and the powerful. The characters, though there are far too many, feel grounded in reality, and also their quarrels have a realistic ridiculousness about them.
Also read: Shaadisthan review: Worth a watch!
The veteran director Bharathiraja, who plays Periyasamy, brings both maturity and fragility to his role. Manoj, his son in real-life, plays the younger Periyasamy and pleasantly surprises us viewers. Bala Saravanan as Kutti Puli, Eeswaran’s comedy sidekick is just about above average. With finger-snapping mannerisms, self-aware indigenous self effacing humor and some Dhanush-bashing, it might satisfy the fans. For the rest of us, Eeswaran is just a predictable average fare and wine in a new bottle.
Twenty five years later, on the death anniversary of his wife, his children and grandchildren visit him, and he’s seemingly excited. Eeswaran, the caretaker of Periyasamy, is too happy for him and ensures that he leaves no stone unturned in making the family get-together a grand one.Little do they know that they have a huge threat from a hard-core criminal who has served imprisonment in jail because of Periyasamy and is on parole to avenge. The family astrologer’s prediction of a death once again in the family makes things worse.
While Bharathi Raja is excellent in his role as Periyasami, Shilambarsan is simply brilliant though he seems to ape Dhanush in some scenes as far as his mannerisms are concerned. Balasaravanan has been cast aptly as the protagonist’s aide, while Munishkanth impresses. Nidhi Aggerwal as the leading lady has hardly any scope and has just been wasted. Nidhhi’s character doesn’t reflect the aspirations of a girl of 2021. She is shown upset with her elder sister, played by Nandita Swetha, because she married someone else after breaking up with Eeswaran but has no qualms at all in proposing to him. Nandita Shweta is just about okay in her role, as the leading lady’s elder sister.
What I like about this film and the director is that he has very cleverly included the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown elements in the script since Eswaran was said to have been shot in record time during the dreaded pandemic. Though I would not say that the film is great, I would just say that it is just a decent watch if you like rural themes and also if Shilambarasan is your favorite.