By: By Moviebuzz
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Saturday 22 March 2008
Prasanna, Udhayathara, Vadivelu, Vijayakumar, Rajesh, Santhanam
Marimuthu's beautifully crafted touching love story laced with family sentiments, continue to haunt you long after the film is over. It's a triumph of his script writing methods and packaging that makes the film work big time.
Sathyamurthy (Prasanna) is a disciplined hard working young engineer in Chennai who grew up in an orphanage, and is also a budding poet. One day, he finds that a poem he had written under his pen name Sathya for a contest in a magazine (he forgets to post it) appears verbatim under the name of Shenbagavalli! He takes a liking for her writing and feels that she must be having a mental telepathy with him.
Cut, to the sylvan surroundings of Kutralam and a house opposite its famous waterfall. Meet the beautiful and vibrant Anandhi (Udayathara) a college student who writes poetry under the pseudonym Shenbagavalli. She is the youngest in a family of a devoted father (Vijayakumar), four sisters and a loving brother Ashok (Harris) who will do anything for his sisters. Meanwhile Sathya finds Shenbagavalli's address and starts sending letters to her and soon she responds and a deep friendship develops between them.
Soon, friendship turns to love and Sathya decides to go to Kutralam to meet his mysterious poet lover. At the same time Anandi without knowing that he is on the way goes for an all India tour with her classmates. Sathya lands up in Kutralam and stays with his former college mate Ashok! He reveals to him that he is in love with a girl from Kutralam, who is studying in a ladies college. Ashok tells him that his sister is also attending the same college, but will be back only after a fortnight and through her they can try to get across!
Murthy as he is called by Ashok wins over the love and respect of all at home and they soon call him Anna. However fate plays a cruel role as Ashok dies in an accident due to Murthy's negligence. The family now looks upon him as their elder brother and he also becomes a part of their life. He takes it upon himself to look after the family who have great respect and love for him except Anandhi who hates him as she believes he was responsible for the death of her dear Anna!
Murthy brought up as an orphan realizes the importance of a family for the first time and conducts the marriage and attends to all religious rituals of the family. And the twist happens when the lovers realize their true identity leading to a emotionally choking climax.
Prasanna oozes sincerity and his ability to bring the Sathya and Murthy character to life with all the nuances of love, tenderness, humour and frustrations is one of the highlights of the film. Udayathara as Anandhi is the pivot around which the film moves. As a newcomer she looks like the girl-next door and emotes decently but lacks glamour and in fact her friend in college looks more heroine material than her.
Harris a newcomer as Ashok is convincing and the television artists who don the sisters' role are good. Vijayakumar is his usual self. The director himself has written the separate Vadivel comedy track, which for a change is thoroughly enjoyable.
Balasubramaniyam's sterling cinematography, all those never seen before locations in Kutralam like the house where the story takes place near the famous falls (the Mottamadi shots with a view to the falls is eye catching) and Ambasamudram raises the bar of the film and gives it immediacy. Dheena 's music is melodious for a change, with meaningful lyrics by Vairamuthu.
On the downside, the film has too many co-incidences that are left unanswered. Today will any young man living in a city leave his job and comfortable life in search of a girl who writes poems in a small town? There are far too many feel-good happy family situations in the first half to digest. Yes, the film may have its flaws but don't miss it!
Marimuthu is a welcome addition to the brave new directors in Tamil cinema, who are trying their best within the commercial format to give a different type of love story. He has been largely able to come out with a film that is straight from the heart. May his tribe increase and bring freshness to Tamil cinema.
Don't miss Kannum Kannum.