Kamal Hassan is back to what he is good at: comedy. It is not just the regular
kind of comedy dished out by the Telugu filmmakers, but the silly, Chaplinesque
kind of humour albeit supported by the rattling oral speech that Tamilians are
It is a simple story, if at all there is a story in the first place. Two psychiatrists
- the old Delhi Ganesh and his not-so-younger junior, Jayaram (who is now an independent
practitioner) are at loggerheads over who is the best psychiatrist in town. Jayaram
manages to wrest the ground from under the feet of Delhi Ganesh, and so the latter
wants to prove that he is better than Jayaram in every way. He does this by sending
the crankiest of all his patients, Tenali, to him for treatment. Delhi Ganesh's
idea is that the latter will ruin the image of Jayaram, and so he, Delhi Ganesh,
will become the number one psychiatrist once again.
Talking of Tenali, he is a coward to the point of pointlessness. He is scared
of anything and everything, and his scary acts land many people in sometimes humorous
and sometimes embarrassing situations. The coward enters the house of Jayaram,
and, as expected, creates hellish moments for him. Right from the first contact
Jayaram tries to get rid of Tenali, but Tenali surfaces again and again, even
when the doctor is vacationing in Kodaikanal.
As you can expect, Jayaram's family becomes fond of Tenali and tries to thwart
the efforts of Jayaram in getting rid of him. Jayaram's sister goes a step further
and falls in love with Tenali. And all that rigmorale till the end.
Tenali starts off well and you are treated to dollops and dollops of humour with
Kamal Haasan rediscovering his innate comic genius. The film progresses well till
the interval as you are served with as much comedy as possible. But the director
foolishly tries to continue the film in the same vein without having any plot.
By the time you come to the end you realise that there is no plot worth the name.
Even Kamal Haasan surprisingly sheds his mad guy image all of a sudden and starts
behaving normal. So much for continuity.
The Malayalam actor Jayaram is good as the doctor, while Delhi Ganesh too tries
his best to keep up the comedy unleashed by the director. Jyotika doesn't have
much to do except singing a couple of songs with Kamal Haasan. Devayani plays
an insignificant role as Jayaram's wife. It is not a bad film, for it has some
good comedy, but it is not a good film either, as it does not live up to the expectations
built in the first half.