Eli Movie Review
Cast: Vadivelu as Eli Swamy aka Eli/Jolly Sadha as Julie
Director: Yuvaraj Dhayalan
Music Composer: Vidyasagar
Cinematography: Paul Livingstone
Editor: V. T. Vijayan, T. S. Jay
A spy in a gang is called a black sheep whereas a spy among bandits is actually called an ‘ELI’ (Rat). The film is set in 1960s Chennai (Madras then). Eli (Played by Vadivelu) is an underground cop. In order to control and find out a dreaded gang, the police department officials opts Eli to nab the head of the gang.
A petty thief (who once aspired to become a police officer) is hired by the police department to infiltrate a gang smuggling Cigarettes (Cigarette was banned during that time). He agrees to work for the police in return for the promise of dropping all the cases against him and being made a police officer.
He manages to infiltrate the gang. He falls in love with Julie, one of the gang's members. How he survives in the gang and how he gets them arrested by the police forms the rest of the story.
Since Vadivelu plays the lead, one could sense what the general audience would expect out of him. A comic looking detective who is tasked to go on a secret undercover operation to solve a crime situation of incendiarism, just like what Steve Carell and Rowan Atkinson did in Get Smart and Johnny English.
Vadivelu impressed the audiences with his comical expressions as usual but his character does not evaluate his skills. Actress Sadha looks pretty good and she is limited on screen. Pradeep Rawat who played the main antagonist delivered his best. The songs disturbed the flow of the movie. Both the first as well as second half are too slow paced. Cinematography is nice.
Eli can neither be termed a spy hero film nor a spy spoof film. It is a flick that’s oscillating between the two. Eli is not a dumb movie with a couple of passable slapstick comedies but at the same time it doesn’t offer anything different from the usual.
The film takes place in the 60’s. One wonders how a Contessa car features in a film that takes place in the 60’s, a car series which the Hindustan Motors introduced by the late 1970’s.
Padma Award winner Thotta Tharani takes care of the art direction department. His mastery in creating some fancy sets of the 60’s is one of the high points of the movie.
Vadivelu single-handedly carries the film on his shoulders; he does manage to tickle a bone or two here and there with his funny mannerism and one-liners but it still doesn’t serve enough to satisfy the audience.