‘Evana thalaivan aakanumnu ungalukum theriyathu, eppadi thalaivana irukanumnu avangalukum theriyathu…’ This opening dialogue of Goundamani in ’49 O’, his comeback movie, sums up what the film is going to talk about.
The movie, directed by P Arokiyadoss (claimed to be a former associate of Gautham Vasudev Menon), tries to drive home the message that farmers and agriculture are too important to the country. It also throws light on the various troubles faced by them.
Though the intentions are clear and good, the way things are executed are not up to the mark. Imagine having Goundamani on board, that too in the lead role, and the audience hardly getting a chance to laugh or smile.
The story is set in a village, where Souri (Goundamani), the messiah, fights to protect farmers. But the ryots are cheated by Karikalan (Thirumurugan), son of a powerful politician, as he acquires their fertile land for agriculture business.
As politicos are not ready to solve the issue, the onus is now on Souri to set things right. He starts a movement to fight for the cause and is he able to achieve the mission through his smart and sharp moves or not forms the crux of ’49 O’.
At 76, Goundamani is really refreshing. The energy he oozes at this age has a lesson for everyone. And what more, he also shakes his legs for a couple of song sequences.
Motta Rajendran, Chaams, Guru Somasundaram and other members of the cast have nothing much to do. Technically, the film is weak, as cinematography, editing and other departments are shoddy.
’49 0′, to sum it up, is like old wine and old bottle. But there are two saving graces— Goundamani and the message. However at places, the message too goes overboard and gets preachy.