Though promoted as a movie with strong political messages, Ilaignan emerges as a commercial movie. The lead suits the character portrayed, and for those Namitha lovers. Their goddess has put on more weight for the movie. This movie is Kalaignar Karunanithi’s 75th film and incidentally it is also director Suresh Krissna’s 50th film.
The movie is apparently high-budget film with a reported cost of 25 crores. The actors chosen to essay the major roles, in a film of such magnitude are surprisingly new comers. Lyricist Paa Vijay plays the male lead in this film, while Meera Nambeesan plays the female lead. Meera Jasmine also appears in a crucial role in the film and there are host of other actors like Balasingh, Manivannan, Rajkapoor, “Kavithalaya” Krishnan, Delhi Ganesh and Y G Mahendran.
The movie begins in the 1959, Deivanayagam (Sarathbabu) owns a ship building company. He hands over the reins of his company to his son Rajanayagam (Suman). Rajanayagam is a tyrant, who extracts maximum work out of his laboerers. Sena (Namitha) plays the wife of Rajanayagam and she too shares her husband's philosophy of work.
Kargi (Paa Vijay), who is the son of Arockiasamy (Nasser) and Valliammal (Kushboo) is forced to work for the same ship building company, where his father worked. Kargi from his maiden day at work has always been thinking of a way to end the hard and meager paying plight of his fellow workers. The pressure gets too much when they are asked to work for 12-16 hours per day and disobeying the orders were put through rigorous punishments.
Ramya (Meera Nambeesan) is Kargi's love interest and things go on smoothly between them till Meera (Meera Jasmine) arrives from London to visit her father Deivanayagam. Ramya suspects that Meera might be in a relationship with Kargi, which ultimately proves to be wrong. Though Meera is Rajanayagam's daughter she finds Kargi's struggle to bring better working conditions to the workers as just.
When Kargi creates an uprising among the workers, Rajanayagam is shocked to see his submissive workers standing up against him. Sena and Rajanayagam plan to take revenge and succeed in it handsomely. But in the end Kargi and his fellow workers take the uprising to a next level which stuns the boss. In the end the movie closes on a happy note as Kargi gets his dream fulfilled.
The movie comes as a surprise package from “Kalaignar” Karunanithi, as the story and screenplay is fresh. The use of poems or punch dialogues has been avoided which braodens the viewership. Director Suresh Krissna, with the vast experience he has, had made sure that with a huge budget at his disposal, he makes the best use of it to provide a family entertainer.
Paa Vijay is not exemplary in his acting but has not done a bad job, considering the fact that this was his first film as an actor. Meera Nambeesan doesn't have much to do so is the case with Meera Jasmine. Suman emotes expressions to good effect while Namitha scores average with her acting.
Music by Vidyasagar is effective to sustain the mood of the film, while the art direction by Thotta Tharani is wonderful. Vadivelu as Isaac Armugam provides the comic relief to the film which goes well with the audience. The movie will have a decent run at the box-office. Ilaignan is Kalaignar's pet project.