Genre: Romantic comedy

Director: Prakash Kovelamudi

Cast: Anushka Shetty, Arya, Urvashi, Sonal Chauhan & Prakash Raj

At the beginning of this year, Kollywood actor Vikram was highly commended for his dedication to acting when he underwent a tremendous weight loss for his character in the blockbuster film “I”. In the same spirit, Anushka’s deliberate weight gain for her role as a plus sized woman in “Inji Iduppazhagi”  also garnered great attention and she definitely deserves praise for taking a risk that few actresses would be willing to. In this bilingual romantic comedy which was released in Tamil and Telugu, Anushka plays the role of Soundarya, also known as Sweety. True to her nickname, Anushka is a sweet and pleasant woman with a penchant for jelebi, an Indian sweet which she is seen devouring often throughout the film. However, Sweety’s weight is her mother’s greatest worry as she desperately searches for a suitable groom for her overweight daughter.

PRE – INTERMISSION: Sentiments galore!

The movie begins with a flashback involving a father-and-daughter sentiment. Sweety loves learning her weight and fate through the ticket stubs from the weighing machine at the train station, accompanied by her father. Following her father’s unfortunate demise, Sweety continues the tradition of weighing herself and tying her destiny to the quotes written on the back of the ticket stubs. Sweety and Abhishek’s (Arya) budding romance is filled with comical moments right from the beginning when Abhi makes a pseudo grand entrance as a potential groom from the malfunctioning toilet. Furthermore, Nirav Shah’s use of interesting and colourful cinematography techniques also sharpened the whimsical and romantic nature of the film whenever the leading pair shared a romantic moment – such as when Abhi blew the dust out of Sweety’s eye, or when he caught her dramatically just as she was about to fall!

As always, Urvashi did a brilliant job of depicting the anxieties of a single Indian mother with an unmarried daughter and triggered both laughter and tears from the audience. In particular, the scene in the second half of the movie in which she regrets not providing Sweety with the self confidence that her own mother had raised her with is both powerful and moving. It serves as a timely reminder for all women to provide moral support for their counterparts, regardless of whether they are size zero or size sexy.

POST – INTERMISSION: slow moving but Inspirational

Sweety’s transformation into a confident young woman in the second half of the movie is truly inspirational. From quitting the Size Zero clinic to starting on a new exercise regime as well as fighting for the rights of her friend Jyothi (Pavani Gangireddy) who fell seriously ill due to the Instant Weight Loss Program, Sweety sets out to carve her own destiny in accordance with what was implied with the empty weighing machine ticket stub her father had saved for her. The second half could have been boring for some, but it contained the important message that losing weight should be done properly and with the intention to lead a healthy lifestyle. This called to attention the stereotypical notion that one needs to lose weight in order to look attractive.

Madhan Karky’s lyrics for the song “Thakida Thimi Size Sexy/ Ulagam Unakkaethaan Magaraasi”, are undoubtedly apt for this flick. The predictable ending was a slight disappointment for me as I would have personally favoured Sweety to marry Shekar (Adivi Sesh) who loved her for who she was from the first time he met her. However, the crowd-pleaser ending was hilarious and provided some welcome comic relief from a slightly long winded second half.

OVERALL: A Sentimental feel–good movie!

M. M. Keeravani’s soundtrack lent a beautiful touch to the film, complementing the various moods of the film – from the romantic encounters between Sweety and Abhi to the sad and poignant rejection scenes. My favourite track from the album is “Kannaalam“, which perfectly captured the wedding’s atmosphere as well as the joy exuded by the characters.

Although the editing of some parts of the film could have been tighter to increase the pace of the film, “Inji Iduppazhagi” was nevertheless entertaining. Yahoo (Master Bharath), Sweety’s younger brother, is a promising young talent who injects much humour into the film with his well-timed comedy. However, Prakash Raj in his role as “Size Zero” Satyanand contributes only moderately to the plot, apart from rendering his popular “chellam” dialogue with random interjections of quotes from Bharathiyaar and Thiruvallavur. The scriptwriters and Director Prakash Kovelamudi could have made better use of a talented senior actor like Prakash Raj.

Last but not least, the movie is a must watch as it provides some welcome relief from the perennial onslaught of male dominated commercial films in Kollywood. The film has also succeeded in ingraining the following message into the minds of its viewers:

“உன்னை போல எப்போவும் நீ இருந்தால்,
அதையும் விட glamour-u வேறில்லை.”

Translation:

“There is no greater glamour than being true to yourself.”

Rating: 7 / 10

Hafizah Beevi is currently reading English at Nanyang Technological University. She loves to dabble in acting, writing and singing. Hafizah also likes to bake during her free time and dreams of traveling around the world someday!

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