All in All Azhagu Raja is a romantic comedy written and directed by M. Rajesh and starring Karthi and Kajal Aggarwal, who were so delightful together in Naan Mahaan Alla. Sadly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, All in All Azhagu Raja is nowhere near as delightful.
Karthi is Azhagu Raja, who runs the local television channel “All in All” with his friend Kalyanam, played by Santhanam. One day they are crashing a wedding (as you do) when Raja spots Kajal Aggarwal’s Devi Priya and falls in love with her at first sight, because of course he does. Devi Priya is the singer in a wedding band, Raja is the only person who is honest with her about what a dreadful singer she is, and this endears him to her. When Raja admits to his parents (Prabhu Ganesan and Saranya Ponvannan) that there’s a girl he’d like to marry, at first they are thrilled, but when he tells them the name of Devi Priya’s family his father is suddenly furious and forbids the marriage.
Post-interval begins with an extended 1980-set flashback showing the cause of the problem between Raja’s and Devi Priya’s families. This flashback is a highlight of the movie, with Karthi sporting a mullet wig and fake tummy, Radhika Apte being super charming in a small role, and house favourite Nassar as Devi Priya’s grandfather. Following the flashback, Raja’s mother points out that rather than forbidding the marriage, her husband can get his revenge by having Raja and Devi Priya elope, and the rest of the second half is spent bringing this about. There are some subplots involving Devi Priya’s ambition to distinguish herself in the field of the arts (her words), and filming commercials for the “All in All” television channel – the latter mostly an excuse to have Santhanam dress in drag and Kota Srinivasa Rao’s jewellery store owner to fall in lust with him. But, on the whole, not a lot of plot for a movie that is almost three hours long.
Now, normally I would be okay with watching almost three hours of ridiculousness, especially featuring my favourite Tamil actor, if I was also getting five or six full song picturizations out of the deal. Inexplicably, however, All in All Azhagu Raja only has three full songs! It’s even more frustrating because all three are the type of colourful, energetic silliness I enjoy from Tamil movies, so imagine how much more entertaining the movie would have been with twice as many.
The lovely and colourful “Yaarukkum Sollama”
The hilariously retro “Unnai Partha Neram”
The bright and silly “Yamma Yamma”
Honestly, if this movie had starred anyone other than Karthi I think it would have infuriated me. As it is, I just felt disappointed that it was so dull.