Prince – A clean absurd comedy that struggles with the consistency of laughs!
I am not sure if calling Prince an absurd comedy is appropriate. The characters on screen might seem illogical and absurd but this is a film that actually mocks at the absurdness of the society. Before anything else, let me make it clear that Prince is certainly one of the most politically correct films in the mainstream space. Whether the film works or not is a different question, but Anudeep and his team deserve praise and respect for what they have set out to achieve and for what they have achieved with regards to this aspect.
Karthik Subbaraj’s Jagame Thandhiram talked about boundaries and the plight of immigrants in the guise of an action film. Anudeep’s Prince takes the comedy route. Ulaganathan (Sathyaraj) is a progressive individual who is against every form of discrimination. So much so, that he is ashamed that his daughter chooses to marry someone within caste. When his son chooses a girl from a different nationality, you would assume he would be delighted. Yes, he is delighted but the happiness is cut short when he gets to know her nationality. True to his name (Ulaganathan), he loves the entire world. But his love also comes with a clause. He just cannot stand the British.
Prince is an important film for the message it conveys. As simple and repetitive as the message may seem, the fact that the message is very relevant today is a disturbing fact. The characterization of Ulaganathan is such an important reminder about how even the most progressive can sometimes stick on to something so irrelevant. It is such a pleasant surprise to see a filmmaker not just talk about equality but also do it from the POV of someone from the other side. This is where Prince stands apart with its integrity. It is not the hero or ‘us’ who teaches a lesson or two about empathy. It is the heroine’s family or ‘them’ who end up doing it in Prince. The previous sentence is actually inappropriate. Anudeep’s intention is to not call anyone ‘THEM’ but bring everyone under the umbrella of ‘US'.
Prince isn’t as funny or entertaining as it should have been. But a couple of stretches bring the roof down. It is a clean absurd comedy with an important message at its core. I really wish that a lot more jokes worked but this is a simple film that deserves respect for its intentions.