With Bongu, Natarajan Subramanian had perhaps hoped to recreate Sathuranga Vettai, the 2014 heist featuring Natty as a brilliant, remorseless conman. A thriller, the script had a wildly engaging Natty who took to a life of crime with gay abandon; he just did not pause to think about his victims, or the consequences of his fraud. In this one though, Natty develops a conscience. And, that’s the sad part. He robs a car, but takes in the security guard who was fired in the process, the dialogue explaining his actions set to sympathetic notes. But Bongu is just not there at all; the script is anything but appealing.
Natty wants to be seen as this cool, unassuming conman that he was in Sathuranga Vettai, but that was all thanks to director H Vinoth’s quick-wit. The movie didn’t really star a comedian, but the humour was laugh-out-loud, nonetheless. Ramadoss, the comedian of few movies, makes an appearance in Bongu, just to do his drunken bumbling fool act all over again. It’s more than mildly annoying, and just not funny. He worships Natty for giving him a job, and becomes the butt of the most ridiculous jokes and contemptuous humour. He had potential, though. During an instance, he rambles drunkenly, but turns menacing when he talks about his former boss – the dangerous Madurai Pandian. It gives everyone pause; surely, this guy is no fool. But the moment is fleeting, and the director lets that pass, settling for more uninspired comedy.
As if to make up for all fallacies, the music is loud. Natty doesn’t really show star power, but the notes don’t give up on the punch. He tackles several henchmen at once, and the movie would have us believe in his wit, but Natty the conman with a forgettable name (Sathuranga Vettai scores there as well; his name was Gandhi Babu) isn’t the clever clogs he’s touted to be.
In the climax, when he challenges Madurai Pandi that he’d rob his car the next day, there’s an expectant hush. But all that Natty and company do, with huge guns that look straight out of a prop store, is to jump in dramatically amidst Pandi and henchmen, and fire what looks like tear gas.
Natty quickly clarifies, though. It’s …சாம்பிராணி.
That’s not all. There’s Atul Kulkarni as the special officer who’s brought in to solve the ‘case’. He sits and broods in a dark office replete with computers and other related paraphernalia, and smokes away to glory. But Kulkarni has the most unintentionally hilarious dialogues of all, which perhaps wouldn’t be amiss in a genuinely clever movie: A பலசாலி can be fooled, he says as Natty vanquishes his enemy who was created just to be unceremoniously vanquished, but not a புத்திசாலி.
But then, genuinely clever movies rarely make such proclamations.
Also Read: The brilliance that was Sathuranga Vettai.
The Bongu review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.