Banner: Thirrupathi Brothers N. Lingusamy
Cast: Kishore, Sree Raam, Pandi, Murugesh, Flower A.Manoharan.
Direction: S. D. Vijay Milton
Production: Bharath Seeni
Music: S N Arunagiri
Action movies are dime a dozen, but it is not often that the protagonists are a bunch of adolescents. When the subjects handled are just teens, it is next to impossible to have them fight like tough heroes. Nor are they the bunch to only keep dreaming of run-of-the-mill romantic duets. But how would they react, given no family or financial support, to an adversity when they are rubbed the wrong way? ‘Goli Soda’ is an action flick of sorts; it is a take on teen rage for justice, in the perspective of four adolescents.
The story opens with four arduous boys named Setu, Kutti Mani, Chithappa and Puli, working for an Aachi, in her shop in Asia’s busiest market – Koyambedu. The boys slog every morning, before the city wakes up, to fetch and carry that day’s load of vegetables, and hangout with a chummy cart driver who they fancy to call Mandhiravadhi or magician, after his gimmicks which fascinate the boys. Sujatha plays the Aachi, Imman Annachi plays Mandhiravadhi, and the four boys are Kishore, Shreeram, Pandi and Murugesh of ‘Pasanga’ fame. Given their impressionable adolescence, the boys start seeing girls and try their best to woo them, and that is how they happen to befriend Yamini (Chandini) and the girl they call ATM (Shalini). The boys eventually understand responsibility and work hand-in-hand to start a food joint inside the market. Though they manage to overcome the pressure from their rivals, they accidentally let an ally into their mess and everything changes. Given that they are too young and frail to give a fight, they are constantly rubbed the wrong way, beyond their patience. But they stand up as a team, to seek justice, fighting a losing battle.
To begin with, this is nothing like what you may have expected. Usage of time is wise and crisp, and screenplay is realistic. There is a logical sequence to the story written by Vijay Milton. And there are no romantic run-around-the-tree duets. All songs by Arunagiri are used wisely – all but one are gana songs, which befit the screen setting. Seelin’s background score is supportive yet rather predictable in most places, while it gives you goosebumps in a few scenes.
Acclaimed for cinematography and with prior experience as a director, Vijay Milton has delivered a compelling and gripping story with ‘Goli Soda’. While first half is lighthearted, the part after intermission is racy, emotional and action packed. The film does not involve any heroism – it’s all appealing and even factual at times. But the boys are real heroes! Be it the comic scenes or the compelling ones, Shalini is convincing for the role and acts like a matured kid. She and Chandini, who relatively has much lesser screen presence, as promising actresses. Pandiraj’s dialogues are a pillar of support to the story. No word is wasted; instead there are a few lines that are hair rising that blow you harder than the usual punch dialogues. Vijay Milton’s cinematography deserves special mention in the fight scenes, especially the climax scene; kudos to the stunt choreographer for realistic fight, with no hint of heroism. All this, with Antony’s picture perfect editing, is a clean entertaining two and half hours.
When adolescents are messed around with, they fight not for fractures and blood, but for real justice. There is a limit to everyone’s patience, which when rubbed too hard, explodes like a bottle of soda, as indicated by the befitting title. There is comedy, there is love and also a silently told loud social message in ‘Goli Soda’. And the film has no dearth of action that is believable and convincingly true – the 7-minute long fight scene is a charm to look out for. There are a lot of twists thrown in, to reiterate the right. Having sought the choice opinion of more than a dozen skillfully expert directors, Vijay Milton has done the best justice to an offbeat story, in a clean entertainer that would impress all sorts of audience.