Aadai movie review: Rathna Kumar unravels a bold Amala Paul-starrer

Amala Paul's Aadai interval report: A hard-hitting film

Aadai movie director: Rathna Kumar

Star Cast: Amala Paul, Vivek Prasanna, Ramya Subramanian, Gopi Gpr

The general notion is that women of old times were sacrificial and often suffered violence in silence. And unlike them, new-age women are seen as bold enough to protest and protect themselves.In the patriarchal society, covering faces or body parts is often forced upon women. It is more often choice than compulsion.

Long back, the way of dressing was even connected to a person's caste status. Remember  the breast tax in princely states including Travancore that stipulated that women of certain castes were slapped a certain fee to cover their breasts. While many topless protests and bare breasts outcries are in vogue now, there was one woman in the 19thcentury who had courage to stand up. And act for the future.

Before knowing Kamini from Aadai, one needs to know about Nangeli, who is believed to have lived in the early 19th century at Cherthala. Nangeli, who belonged to the Ezhava caste, protested against the breast tax, which was practiced and levied on the lower castes in the state during the 1800s. 

Nangeli rebelled by cutting her breasts off against the practice of tax. She died of excessive blood loss, while her husband committed suicide by jumping into her funeral pyre. Following the death of Nangeli, the breast tax system was annulled in Travancore. Amala Paul starrer 'Aadai' opens with a pictorial depiction of the tale of Nangeli.Director Rathna Kumar's Amala Paul starrer 'Aadai', or dress, throws light on how the women of today should use their hard earned freedom. While his debut movie 'Meyaadha Maan' was a light-hearted rom-com, Aadai is a big leap into a serious subject.  

Rathna Kumar excels with his genuine approach.For commercial gains, where the directors of today tends to give superpowers to heros, the 'hero' of Aadai is Kamini, a bold and arrogant lass who runs a prank show christened 'Thoppi' in a TV channel.

And her pranks are never-ending. She would dress up as Harley Quinn, the lunatic supervillain, or one similar to Dark Knight's Joker portraying her rebellious character.The film begins and sets tone with Kamini and her gang of friends and take a turn as they decide to spend a night at workplace. 

The interval is ushered with a shock effect – with the audience and Kamini herself at a loss to figure out the happenings of the previous night.

It brings forth the general fear of women with nakedness and unfolds into a survival thriller. With a never seen before survival struggle, writer Rathna Kumar gels tension with a tinge of humour.The emotional ending may sound preachy, but the attempt is to pan our attention to the metaphor defining freedom.

Amala Paul is undeniably the star here. She delivers a memorable film by pulling off a role that required both physical and mental strength with elan. 


Be it as the free-spirited betting maniac with an air of arrogance or the subsequent vulnerabile situation in which she lands, she has excelled in front of the camera.

Ramya Subramanian, Sriranjini, Vivek Prasanna and Adiraj also justified their meaty roles.Yet another star of the movie is Vijay Kartik Kannan, the cinematographer. 

He smartly uses the lights and frames to camouflage the nudity with elegant restraint, giving depth to the theme of the movie. 

The director's vision has been aptly complimented by the cinematographer's craft. Keeping apart a few logical errors and dogmatic treatment, Aadai deserves applauds for being a path-breaker. 

The duration and the narration might lead slight confusion, but the freshness of the idea is commendable.

Rathna Kumar has shown the guts to unravel an unapologetic Kamini to the audience. Aadai will be spoken about, for long!

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