The film is clear in its intentions right from the beginning. It clearly puts across the message that it is going to make you laugh as much as it is going to make you feel poignant. However, the audience is thankfully spared of all the emotional hullaballoo (but if you are the kind that cries at movies, you may want to go hug your dad after this one).
Sathya (Ramesh Thilak) is an paramedic at a hospital and his best friend is the cheery Arumugam (Arumugam Bala) who is also the ambulance driver. He is in love with Kavya (Aashrita), who is from a family that is well off. Sathya, who pines for his father who passed away, is a man of principle, and one who loves his job. Which is why, when he is offered a cushy job to take over his prospective father-in-law's business, he has second thoughts about where his relationship is heading. It is at this juncture that he comes across Kailasam (Vijay Sethupathi), a 55-year-old man suffering from acute chest pains. He picks him up from a remote area, in his ambulance. They set out on a journey to take Kailasam to the hospital.
This is where the story picks up. Naturally, one is used to seeing a hero in all his regalia - flashy clothes, a stylish swagger, with an attitude to match. Vijay Sethupathi as Kailasam is far from it, and yet, manages to deliver a performance so convincing, one almost forgets that he is not really a 50-something man. As Kailasam, Sethupathi brings out the nuances of an old man - someone who is respected in his community, yet has quirks that can drive you up the wall. Interspersed with comedy, and a little bit of sentiment, his character is adorably annoying. The relationship that he builds with Sathya is slow - hesitant at times and obviously over-the-top at others. However, at the end of it, the audience is not left clueless - their relationship is surely that of a son who is looking for a father figure and a father, who is looking for a son to love. Ramesh Thilak as Sathya seems to have realized that he has plenty of scope to perform and he hasn't let the opportunity go waste. The actor has tried hard and worked towards his character and it shows.
Director Biju Vishwanathan's unusual narrative deserves a mention. The director has tried to keep the flow as natural as possible, but there are many times when subtlety seems to have taken a beating, or in some cases, forgotten altogether. His cinematography however, is breathtaking. Refreshing new angles, a brilliant use of landscape and colour, every frame is a work of art. Justin Prabhakaran's background score is nothing to write home about, although the songs seem to have struck a chord already with the audience, with a couple of hummable numbers.
Overall, like an orange mittai, the film too is bittersweet. The biggest plus of the film is its run time - a mere one hour and forty minutes, which seems to be more than enough to narrate this interesting story. The film ends on the note that 'the journey is the destination', which about sums up the feeling that you get while watching this film.