Kuselan is a poor attempt at remaking the malayalam classic. It neither satisfies the hardcore Rajni fan nor does it appeal to the classy folks interested in the aesthetics. In order to bridge the divide and cater to both segments, the movie comes across as forced, artificial and crass at times.
The story is quite straightforward. It relates the tale of a very successful actor (Rajnikanth) and his childhood friend (Pasupathy) who works as barber in a village. Pasupathy, though poor, is morally upright and rubs a few people the wrong way as a result of which receives no favour from people in a position to help. When Rajnikanth comes visiting his village to shoot for a film, the villagers on finding out that the actor is the barber's friend, take the extra effort in pleasing Pasupathy so that he can help them in gaining various favours from Rajnikanth.
This could have made for a wonderful movie which the original in malayalam was. The director (P. Vasu) cranks everything a notch higher thus making it unbearable. While the antics of Vadivelu in trying to get a photograph of himself with Rajnikanth are quite funny, they detract from the movie's emotional core.
Rajnikanth is present for roughly 30 minutes out of 3 hours. He does his part admirably. The movie though becomes an endurance exercise when he isn't on screen. Pasupathy was amazing in Veyil and Virumandi. In this movie, he does come across as a limited actor and appears quite wimpy and I think the fault lies with the director rather than the actor. Meena too overacts at times and looks out of place in the village milieu.
The technical aspects of the movie are below par and Nayanthara is absolutely wasted. The songs are adequate but none of them are hummable and once you leave the cinema hall, you hardly remember any of them.
A very poor attempt at remaking a classic. Stay away from the cinema and watch it on DVD (if you have to)!!!