The letter “B” carries a lot of significance in Tamil Film Industry. The greatest of directors Balachander, Bharathiraja, Balu Mahendra have all been cult directors and are still held in awe and esteem. When Bala arrived with Sethu,  the film created a tremendous impact and subsequently with “Nanda and Pithamagan” Bala walked into the hall of fame of one of the greatest directors of Tamil cinema. Oddly his movies after have taken a downward trajectory and “Nachaiyar” is a film to redeem himself as one of the best in TFM.

The story of the film is a no brainer. It is a simple and straightforward investigative thriller. Yes there is a kind of suspense at the interval block and yet it fails to ignite and ends as predictable as the unpredictability of a Bala film.  The documentary feel, the tardiness in the screenplay makes viewing a struggle. The characters in the film feel like characters in some drama trying to impress a live audience. The naivety in references to religion is so juvenile that you wonder if it’s a Bala film. Save for the “whodunit” aspect there is nothing in the film that would engage the viewer.

Jyothika is loud as the police officer and is no natural. She tries hard to be a cop and that shows. GV Prakash is OK, though it is Jyothika who has the meatier role in the film. Ivana as the heroine is average too. The rest of the cast especially the unimportant ones struggle with in their scenes and their dialogue delivery.
Technically too the movie doesn’t offer anything better. Eshwar behind the scenes is OK, while Ilayaraja does a good job in the first half but falters in the second. Editing by Satish for a shorter duration film is just standard. Dialogues are decent while direction is substandard.

Nachaiyar is not a Bala film and if it is an attempt to reinvent himself, he has succeeded because Nachaiyar is an average film for a debutant.