By: By Moviebuzz
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Monday 12 January 2004
Silambarasan, Sonia Agarwal, Nasar, Rekha, Vadivelu
Director Hari?s first two films Tamizh and the blockbuster Saamy had an innovative script with an excellent presentation but sadly his Pongal film Kovil is disappointing and stale.
Kovil has the look and feel of Bharathiraaja?s Alaikal Oyvathillai and is a pale remake of that 80?s classic. Anyone who sees the film can find this out and is sure to compare it with the original.
The lovers here are Silambarasan and Sonia Agarwal. Both lack the innocence, fire and passion that was ignited by Karthik and Radha who made their screen debut with Alaikal Oyvathillai. Bharathiraaja?s powerful script and Ilayaraja?s melodies created the magic in the original. But Hari and Harris just could not outdo the masters!
Set in a campus background, the story is as old as the seas. A Hindu boy Sakthivel (Silambaran) falls in love with a Christian girl Angel Devi (Sonia Agarwal) against strong parental opposition. The heroine?s father Susa Michael (Nassar) is a rabid Christian who does not even allow his daughter to put a kumkum on her forehead. He hates everything that is `Hindu`! The boy?s father, village strongman Periyasami (Raj Kiran) is a true Hindu and is a do-gooder.
Hari has chosen two communally sensitive warring villages in Kanyakumari district to set his story full of stereotypes. The trouble with romantic stories based on lovers coming from two different communities is that the love between them has to look convincing. Here, director Hari falters as hero Sakthivel, a tough guy is introduced as a staunch Hindu but falls for a Christian girl at their first meeting itself. And one wonders how can a girl who goes for prayer meetings and Bible classes reciprocate a Hindu boy?s love instantly? This is the basic weakness in the plot. You can not digest the film when the lovers break into song ?n? dances even before interval in Kutralam!
After the lovers run through the whole gamut of songs, parental opposition, misunderstandings, predictable villainy from girl?s cousin, the story potters to a climax in a church where the priest (Rajesh) plays a good Samaritan. Hari has the audience hooting and laughing at this climax as he desperately tries to create a twist. First he tries to make the heroine a nun and then changes the story and says that she was an orphan and her real parents were Muslims who died in an accident when she was a child and Nassar had adopted her! A humiliated Nassar climbs on top of the church and threatens to commit suicide to atone his sins but is saved by Rajkiran, his archrival!
As for performance Silambaran sans his usual mannerisms and style looks cool and is a relief to watch. But Sonia Agarwal who gave an excellent performance in Kathal Kondein is a misfit here. She looks wooden. Her dubbed voice is terrible and on the whole she is a letdown. Nassar in a clich?d role of an angry Christian hams but Rajkiran sails through as a Periyasami. Vadivelu?s comedy is a rehash of what he had done in Winner. Harris Jayaraj?s music is mediocre as they fail to create any impact.
Try watching that classic love story Alaikal Oyvathillai and find out the difference for yourself.
Verdict: Tedious Rehash