By: By Moviebuzz
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Tuesday 20 February 2007
Sibiraj, Nila, Prakash Raj
His new film Lee is based on a group of guys who come to Chennai on a mission to buy a gun and kill the villain! There is Fernando Meirelles (City of Gods director) touch to Solomon?s movies as they are all on the seamy side of city life where violence lurks in the shadows.
The film opens with Leeladharan alias Lee (Sibiraj) and his group of friends living in a slum like area in Chennai. They work as pizza delivery boys, auto driver, newspaper boy etc but they pool together whatever money they make to fund their dream project. They want to buy a gun at any cost! In one of their outings they bump into Chellammal (Nila) lovingly called Chellam who works in the hospital for the mentally challenged.
She joins them and soon develops a soft corner for Lee but he does not pay much attention to her (though both sing a few dream songs together!) Soon she witnesses a botched up assassination bid, when Lee tries to shoot a powerful politician and Central Minister Rangabhashayam (Zahir).
Post interval, in a flashback Lee and his friends tell Chellam about their past and motive behind the failed assassination attempt. It seems they were all football players at college level coming from lower middle class families who had that fiery ambition to represent India and make Football a National game. Their moving spirit, mentor and coach was Muthuraman (Prakash Raj).
Rangabhashayam had put pressure on Muthuraman to make his son, a drug addict the captain which the coach politely refuses. The peeved Ranga shoots Muthu and also wrecks the career of all the players and one of them even commits suicide! The rest of the film peters out into a revenge romp as Lee finally turns into a terminator and kills the baddies on the streets of Chennai.
First and foremost the film has nothing to do with football and is another revenge drama. In the end there is a long speech by Lee about how corruption, nepotism have seeped into the game of football in India where cricket rules. The director also seems to be influenced by the Stephen Chow?s Shaolin Soccer and Kungfu Hustle.
Sibiraj has to improve on his deadpan looks and dialogue delivery. Nila has hardly anything to do but to shake a leg with the hero. Prakash Raj as the coach is the only silver lining. There are two item numbers and a few well-choreographed action scenes. D.Imman?s music is just ok but his re-recording is noteworthy.
Yet, despite all the reservations, Lee is a brave film.