|Vishnu, Sunaina, Nandita Das, Saranya|
It is a tragic tale of love weaved intrinsically into the film's plot and also focuses on a serious relevant issue. Never portraying any of its protogonists as villains, the film carefully avoids judging its characters, and therein lies its strength.
Arulappasamy (Vishnu) is a young man who is an alcoholic and wastrel who is a constant embarrassment for his hardworking parents (Ram and Saranya) . Esther (Sunaina ) is an orphan girl who is adopted by a nun and she stays in the church. Arulappan slowly gets attracted to Esther and his love for her, changes him. He gives up drinking and wants to work so that he can marry Esther. But the local fishermen do not allow him to go into the sea. The young man due to his determination buys a boat , marries his love and life is all rosy, till fate intervenes.
The film keeps you engaged not so much on the strength of its plot, as it does for the interesting characters who inhabit it. Assembling a rock-solid cast of actors who seem to effortlessly inhabit their roles, the director strikes gold with his supporting players too and it's difficult to point out who is better than whom.
Of the leads, Vishnu does well with minimal dialogue, relying on his eyes and his expressions to do the communicating, especially in those scenes with Sunaina where he's expected to strum up romance and chemistry.
Sunania is a revelation and she delivers a measured performance. It is perhaps her best ever so far and she leaves a lasting impression. Ram, Saranya , Thambi Ramadurai, Azhagamperumal, Samuthirakani and even Vadivukarasi in that small role is outstanding. However, Nandita Das doesn’t have much to do.
The film also benefits enormously from Balasubramaniam’s remarkable cinematography, as his camera captures shots of the sea in all its glory and the sheer visual delight of the Para Para Para.. song picturisation will stay in your mind. Raghunathan’s songs and background score is commendable.
On the downside, the first half is a bit slow and the climax is contrived. But on the whole, it is a moving drama that will undoubtedly leave you with a lump in your throat. And films like this are hard to find.