Sometimes I hate my job. I hate the fact that I can't walk out of a mind-numbing film because what if the director has a last scene surprise that completely changes my entire perspective about the nonsense I've watched so far, my life and that of my ancestors? I would then end up writing an unfair review.
And so, I sat glued to my seat till the very end, hoping 7 Naatkal would suddenly shed light on my existence thus far at some point or the other. That's the beauty of human optimism, yo! It's what made people conquer the Everest, invent the airplane, and apply gau mutra on their faces.
However, debut director VR Gautham can't be blamed for my disappointment. After all, he's littered the film with enough and more clues to tell the audience that this is an awful film which will not improve at any point.
There's the hero Gautham (Shakti Vasudevan) who travels by skateboard and advises Tamil women to speak in Tamil on radio; there's his dog named Blackie who pees everywhere (including the heroine's legs) and has a mind-voice more misogynistic than your average engineering college principal; there's the maybe-antagonist Prasad (Ganesh Venkatraman) with a flying pigeon which is actually a camera; there's Vijay (Prabhu) and Siddharth (Rajeev Pillai) who are quite laughably modeled on Vijay Mallya and his son; there's MS Bhaskar and Chinni Jayanth as two bumbling, utterly incompetent cops who're hired by Prasad for reasons best known to the director. And then there's the heroine (Nikesha Patel) who is scared of thunder. Cute.
All these characters run around because a woman named Jennifer (Angana Roy) is found murdered and dumped in the Cooum. In fact, Jennifer and her scooty are fished out from exactly the same spot in the river - I was wondering if it was human optimism that helped her stay on her seat, too.
Everything about the film screams tacky. Take, for instance, the "high profile" fashion show organised by Vijay's channel which puts girls on his famous calendar and gets them to supposedly win Miss Universe. The camera pans to the audience and you are convinced that this must actually be a tutorial class.
Or that hilarious shot of a flying bike which had everyone in the theatre collectively burst into laughter. Or that court scene where a judge instantly delivers a verdict after watching a ten second clip. Or those numerous shots of shoes which made me think this would have been a brilliant ad film for Bata.
The film struggles to entertain with flat comedy, badly constructed song sequences, and attempts to score on the emotional quotient with some blah sentimental scenes as well. As for suspense, which is usually the main ingredient in a whodunnit, it's as absent as the combined histrionic talent of its lead cast.
Much of this could have been forgiven if the film ultimately made sense. If the plot had somehow worked out. Sadly, that doesn't happen either. It ends with Blackie peeing on the heroine's legs and I felt as if he'd peed on my human optimism instead.