|Vinay, Sada, Tanisha, Raju Sundaram, Sreenath|
Unnale Unnale is an urban romantic fun film that explores love from a slightly realistic and different point of view. The movie does not have clichéd characters nor the typical masalas associated with Tamil films and is packaged in Bollywood style. Though some of the scenes are straight lifts from various Hollywood and Bollywood films, director Jeeva has succeeded in bringing out brilliant performances from his lead actors and presenting the film in a chic and sophisticated manner.
Karthik (Vinay) a software engineer is a fun loving and a playful lamb who flirts with every second girl who crosses his path. He is sent on work to Melbourne where he meets his ex-lover Jhansi (Sada). They had fallen in love with each other in Chennai but drifted away when they found that they are not made for each other. Jhansi is an extremely possessive, always suspicious introvert, basically an old fashioned. And then there is this bubbly girl Deepika (Tanisha) whom Karthik meets on the flight to Australia who plays cupid after realizing how deeply they still love each other. But Deepika slowly falls in love with him, complicating matters. The stubborn and at the same time lovelorn Jhansi is not willing to open up and sort out issues and her hidden fears makes things worse. Do the mismatched lovers unite?
There is no room for predictability in Jeeva’s script and he has shown love happening between the characters as a gradual process over a period of time. This modern love story explores relationships with class and maturity punctuated with light humour that really lifts the movie in the first half. The interaction between Karthi and Jhansi in India and Melbourne are a pure delight to watch. In the second half, things begin to cool down and the pace drops a bit, but still the packaging leaves an impact, thanks to the hummable tunes, brilliant camera work and freshness in cast.
Full marks to Harris Jeyaraj for the songs especially the “Unnale Unnale…”, “June Pona…” and the background score which stays long after you leave the hall. They are picturised aesthetically in never-seen-before locations with utmost care going into details. Jeeva who has handled the camera has done a great job. Each frame of the film is picture-perfect and looks like a dream.
Newboy Vinay is literally the tallest hero (6ft 3in),he is handsome with a winsome smile. He fits the character of Karthik, the smooth talking city boy and has the much required screen presence. But he has to brush up his dialogue delivery as he has the potential to be a star. However it is Sada who steals the show as the no-nonsense, level headed, self-centered working woman of today, who knows what she wants in life. Jeeva has given her a matured bespectacled look (a la Preity Zinta in Kal Ho Naa Ho?) with western outfits. She brings credibility, sensitivity and vulnerability to her character with the mien of a veteran.
Tanisha suits the role of Deepika to the T. She is sassy, gentle and looks glamorous and has been able to bring the zingy mix of her character alive with style and substance. You cannot mention just how luminous the two girls look on screen with perfect costumes that go with the story milieu. Full credit goes to Aneez, the costume designer. Raju Sundaram and Sreenath provide humour and wacky one-liners in the first and latter half respectively.
Anyone (which means almost everyone) who has loved and lost will recognize that Unnale Unnale is a bitter sweet valentine to unrequited love. It is a feel-good love story which will surely appeal to urban audiences and youth. Go for it, and chill out in cool Melbourne, a welcome relief from Kollywood’s current favourite location- Madurai and its dry arid lands.
Verdict: Minty cool