Rating: 1 star

Much awaited and much maligned, En Swaasa Katre is a mixed bag. K.S. Ravi, not learning from his previous outing, Mr. Romeo, succeeds in wasting celluloid like never before. I can understand why the producers considered shelving this movie. The screen play is non-existent, and the editors seem to have taken a walk, never to return. The only saving grace is A.R.Rehman's foot-tapping music and perhaps the cinematography with some interesting choice of locales and imaginative art direction captured beautifully on the screen. Logic and reasoning are abandoned for the greater cause of cinema, apparently and the viewer should suspend any disbelief before stepping into the theater.

Isha and Arvind Swamy in "En Swaasa Kaatrae"Arvind Swamy plays a techno-thief, the best of his class, apparently in India. A stranger family has never been portrayed in Tamil Cinema. Raghuvaran, a honest auto-driver brings up Arun (Arvind Swamy) who's run away from home, and Guru (Prakash Raj) his own son, who is a known delinquent. Guru terrifies the family forcing Arun to comply to his wishes, lest they incur his wrath. Anyway, during a routine break-in, Arun manages to steal the diary and the heart of Madhu (Isha Kopikar). Madhu's brother is a Cop out to nab Arun and Guru. When Madhu learns of Arun's past, she breaks up with him, but Arun's father convinces her of Arun's true love. Arun meanwhile surrenders to the cops, but when Madhu returns, they escape to a forest. Meanwhile, Guru captures his own father and they all end up in the same forest. The complicated story ends in a shoot-out in a forest. Definitely, a P2C2E (a plot too complicated to explain), to paraphrase Salman Rushdie.

The dialogues and situations are unbelievably ill-conceived, but played straight by everyone around, which makes it unintentionally funny! Arvind Swamy looks bored half way through the movie. Prakash Raj hams his way through another over the top performance. Isha spends the better part of the movie in rain, in the shower or in a lake or a river. Looks like Sabesh Murali did the re-recording, not Rahman. Mediocre sound effects for DTS' sake. Chinni Jayanth and Vadivelu irritate more than anything else. Then there are scenes heavily borrowed from Mission Impossible, John Woo's early Hong Kong cinema and the ending perhaps inspired by Natural Born Killers or Bonnie and Clyde. Its impossible to like this movie,unless you watch it like they do on Mystery Science Theater (on Comedy Central or Sci-Fi channel). (its 1 Star if you take this seriously - but 3 stars if you get together with friends and have a good laugh at the director's expense).

Balaji Thirumalai

Original Photograph (En Swaasa Katre): Thanks to Anandha Vikatan
Photograph scanned & reworked by: Sandya