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Film / Aadai

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Aadai (transl. Dress) is an Indian-Tamil thriller directed by Rathna Kumar of Meyaadha Maan fame and produced by Viji under the banner of V Studios. It was released July 19th 2019 and starred Amala Paul in the lead role.

Kamini is a free-spirited young woman who works at the media company #Hashtag along with her team on the prank show Gotcha! Gotcha!. On her birthday, the company finishes moving to a new building across town, so she and her friends decided to use the now empty building to celebrate.

After a night of drinking, Kamini awakens the next morning to the shock of her life: her friends are gone and so are her clothes! Now Kamini must find a way out while trying to piece together the mystery of what happened the night before...

Shows examples of:

  • Abandoned Office Building: The office building where Kamini is stuck was the space the company #Hashtag had previously occupied.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Implied as the reason Kamini asks for a female delivery girl instead of a man due to her state of undress.
  • Bystander Syndrome: A year after Nangeli's prank was featured on Gotcha! Gotcha! and a year before the events of film, Nangeli's mother was visiting her mother in the city when she fainted. The first person to try and help stopped when she recognized the young woman and thought it was part of the show. Not to mention the men who stopped and took selfies thinking the same thing not knowing what was happening...
  • Candid Camera Prank: Gotcha! Gotcha! is a tv show created by Kamini and her friends where they pull pranks on people mainly by scaring them or faking medical emergencies.
  • Catchphrase: "Wanna Bet?" said by Kamini whenever someone says she can't do something; it even includes a sassy finger-snap. It's so compulsive that she does it to her boss at one point before backpedaling.
  • Censor Shadow: The only things that Kamini has to conceal herself with are her hands, creative camera angles and the darkness of the office building.
  • Closed Circle: The film primarily takes place within the now abandoned office building where Kamini worked.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Kamini is not happy to find out that everything she went through was because the woman responsible, Nangeli, wanted payback for a prank her friends did for their show that caused her to miss an important exam. Played With when Nangeli revealed that she did move on from it until the next year when her visiting mother collapsed and no one helped, believing it to be a prank.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: That delivery girl who Kamini tried to steal clothes from? She was the one who stole Kamini's clothes as payback for being a previous subject of her team's pranks.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: When Kamini finds her phone, the only reason she can't call for help is because its call balance is empty. She also can't get it refilled because the call service won't refill it over the phone and Kamini is aware they're recording the phone calls so she can't just explain the situation.
  • Foreshadowing: It's mentioned at one point early in the film that some people don't react well to being the subjects of pranks.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If one pays attention to the delivery girl's shirt, it's a different company name from the one Kamini calls. It's because she paid off the actual delivery boy to take the food and pose as him.
  • The Gambler: Kamini lacks the ability to not take a bet or challenge.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Kamini only has her hands to preserve her modesty as there's nothing left in the now-abandoned office to cover herself with. She finds a large mirror at one point but drops and shatters it when a pigeon frightens her.
  • Hypocrite: Nangeli's motive for stealing Kamini's clothes was to get back at the latter for a prank the "Gotcha! Gotcha!" crew did two years ago. Except that the crew would have likely planned said pranks so no one would get hurt and they only scared people for a couple minutes at most. Nangeli's actions left Kamini terrified and alone for an entire day and she got hurt from broken glass.
  • Irony: The reason that Kamini doesn't call the police is fear of the media finding out and reporting it, which would leave her humiliated. The two local men who find the unconscious delivery girl call the police specifically because doing so will draw the attention of reporters and they'll become famous. In hindsight, a naked girl stuck in an abandoned office building wouldn't have been as newsworthy as a supposed murder.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Kamini and her team's show is about them pulling pranks on people by faking emergencies or masquerading as crazed killers and scaring the daylights out of them. When Kamini finds herself naked and alone in the abandoned office building, she is left scared and humiliated. Meanwhile every attempt to contact someone is brushed off as a prank call and no one takes her seriously.
  • Mushroom Samba: Getting take-out, one of the crew puts fried magic mushrooms in the dish and doesn't tell the rest until after they start feeling the effect. Strangely the men all have vivid hallucinations, while at most Kamini sees the flames from her lighter taking different shapes and Jeni gets a bad reaction before both pass out.
  • Naked Freak-Out: Kamini is pretty out of it when she wakes up from being hung-over so it takes her a minute to realize she's not wearing any clothes. Once she does though, she immediately wraps herself in a fetal position, scared and confused.
  • Naked People Trapped Outside: Not outside but still applies as Kamini is left trapped miles from home with nothing to cover herself at an abandoned office building.
  • Not Quite Dead: The delivery girl that Kamini knocked out with the pipe is initially thought to be dead only for a paramedic to realize the police were mistaken.
  • Police Are Useless: To the point it's sort of funny if a little sad. To wit, the officers who arrive at the office building think the woman found is dead without even checking for a pulse and are berated by their superior for waiting for permission to search the building when the "killer" could still be there. Less funny is when Kamini's mother comes to the police station to report her daughter's disappearance, and the officer she reports it to tells the mother she should have done a better job raising her daughter and is left to simply wait to file a report.
  • Rear Window Investigation: While Kamini is on the roof, a worker from a neighboring building sees her (or at least spots movement on the roof) and goes over on his lunch break to investigate. Kamini manages to lock the doors before he finds her and the worker is called away by his boss.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Kamini gets accused of this, first by her boyfriend then Nangeli, but ironically it's shown she's actually a Reluctant Fanservice Girl. The closest we come to this trope is when Kamini does a mock striptease but she and her friends were pretty drunk and starting to feel the effects of the magic mushrooms.
  • Shout-Out: When talking with Jeni about anchoring, she jokes to Kamini that the latter could do a Naked News-style report fitting more with her style of television.
  • Streaking: When first taking stock of her situation, Kamini figures that worse case she'll resort to this after sunset if she hasn't escaped by then. Thankfully she gets her clothes back before having to.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The promotions including the posters seemed to make the movie out to be a crime thriller about Kamini's disappearance.
  • Undressing the Unconscious: After passing out while fully dressed, Kamini wakes up with her clothes gone, implying this; a flashback to that night confirms it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Nangeli the delivery girl calls out Kamini for planning to steal her clothes instead of helping her when Nangeli passed out. Granted Nangeli was the reason for everything that happened but that doesn't make her any less right…
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: The main issue between Kamini and her mother is the former is a free-spirited woman while the latter is very conservative to the point she's disappointed her 20-something daughter isn't a stay-at-home mom rather than a producer of a very popular tv show.
  • With Friends Like These...: Kamini locks her friend Jeni in the bathroom and takes her place as the anchor for the last live broadcast from their current building. This isn't so bad except for when she was later berated by their boss leaving Jeni in tears. Kamini doesn't reveal her actions and doesn't seem all that remorseful [[note] She was pretty drunk at that point[[/note]. All because Jeni jokingly stated Kamini didn't have the disposition to be an anchor...
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After spending the entire day trapped in the building with no clothes, Kamini finds a roll of toilet paper to use for covering. Then she gets outside and it's pouring rain. Luckily she also finds some police tape to use before the person who took her clothes in the first place just hands them back.