After experimenting a tad with Devi, Prabhu Deva is back with an out and out comedy driven heist movie Gulaebaghavali for this Pongal festival.
It is a comedy heist film with no logic and no story either. Gulaebaghavali takes time to settle. In the movie, it is the comedy element, which takes prominence. The likes of Mansoor Ali Khan, Anandraj, Rajendran, Ramdoss, Yogi Babu, Sathyan and Prabhu Deva himself, keep churning out the laughs and especially the fun sequences that come just before the interval are the major spikes in the proceedings. Some humour scenes seem repetitive while some seem extended.
Prabhu Deva is earnest, has the screen presence, puts in a lot into his expressions and breezes through the comedy scenes as usual. We don’t have to mention how good he is with his dance movements. Watch out for the two-minute non-stop dance sequence by the King of dance in the ‘Guleba’ song.
We have a few interesting heist scenes here and there, however, we don't get completely immersed in the script as intended. Whoever you see turns out to be a con man, which makes it predictable that the next person you are going to meet will be making his con act soon. The screenplay in the second half meanders a little. Though you don't feel bored, a more serious handling of the central theme could have helped the film better.
The placement of the songs leaves a lot to be desired. Though visually rich and pleasing thanks to DoP RS Anandakumar and featuring good dance moves, the songs give the audience more than the required breather.
Among the other actors, Revathi's graceful screen presence and Hansika's glossy appearance in the songs make a mark. The cast is big, but none of the characters have any depth, which makes the overall product superficial. Some of the roles lack clarity and we have no idea why they behave the way they do. Mansoor Ali Khan continues to be typecast whereas Yogi Babu and Sathyan fill in the air with joyful moments with their limited screen time.
Vivek-Mervin has done their part with the songs. Guleba featuring Anirudh’s voice is already quite popular, and the background score is surely a backbone. The required impetus is given to the crucial moments by the musical team.
We start feeling the run time of the film when it doesn't race to a convincing end. Director Kalyaan has eyed a proper commercial vehicle for Prabhu Deva banking on the actor's inherent comedic abilities while also giving him a build-up as an action hero, the side of Prabhu Deva that we have not seen in a long time. Lack of grip in the script, lag in the screenplay and few filmy dialogues, are major downers but if you could ignore these negatives and are only looking for some fun moments, Gulaebaghavali is worth your money.