Manathai Thirudi Vittai has Prabhu Deva in a dilemma
Narayanmurthy's Manathai Thirudi Vittai is about Prabhu Deva, a student at the local music college. He is an orphan -- with best friend Ranjit being the father and mother he has lost.
Prabhu sets his heart on Gayatri (debut for the former Miss Tamil Nadu), his junior in college; woos her and wins her -- and her parents' approval to boot.
Along the way, he bumps into Kausalya -- the sister of his friend (Shriman), a young girl who immures herself in her home, singing the songs of P Susheela. She is temperamental, moody, short-tempered and resistant to all efforts to befriend her.
Turns out that during a college trip a while ago, she was drugged, and raped.
Prabhu Deva goes out of his way to be nice to her, and even sweet talks singer P Susheela into paying her a personal visit. Slowly, Kausalya is brought out of the cocoon she has surrounded herself with, and back to normalcy.
Meanwhile, Prabhu Deva and Gayatra are to be engaged -- and friend Ranjit flies down for the event. And it is then that he accidentally spills the beans -- when Kausalya had gone on that college trip, Prabhu Deva coincidentally was in the same hotel, with friends, to attend a wedding. In order to tease the teetotal Prabhu Deva, his friends give him some drugs and while under the influence, pile him with drinks as well.
The boys had hired a prostitute for the evening, and by way of rounding off the joke, push Prabhu Deva into paying her a visit. In his drunken stupor, though, he gets the room number wrong, walks into a different room, finds Kausalya prone in bed in her drugged state, and does the deed without even knowing who it is he is sleeping with.
It is Ranjit who discovers what has happened, and he elects to keep the incident quiet.
Once Prabhu Deva finds out that he is the one responsible for Kausalya's loss of innocence, he is in a quandary. Does he marry the girl he loves? Or does he do the right thing and marry the girl he 'spoilt'? That is what the rest of the movie is about.
Prabhu Deva has been a bit off colour in a couple of his recent movies but here, mercifully, seems to be back on his feet -- literally so, with a couple of very well choreographed and executed dance sequences.
Gayatri, in the song and dance bits, does enough to prove she is a quick study. Yuvan Shankar Raja provides music that matches the moods, while Vivek and Vadivelu provide the comedy elements.
On paper, Manathai Thirudi Vittai seems to have everything going for it. Yet, somehow, it doesn't quite jell. For the most part, the film oscillates between the good and the merely banal -- the kind of film you go to see on a boring afternoon, after first having assured yourself there is nothing else to amuse yourself with.
Cast: Prabhu Deva, Kausalya, Gayatri Jayaram, Vivek, Vadivelu
Camera: Raghunath Reddy
Choreography: Prabhu Devi, Lalita, Kalyan and Dinesy
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja