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April 26, 2002
Vikram chews paan, excels
Seems like Kodambakkam in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu glorifies rowdies.
In AVM Productions' Tamil film Gemini, directed by Saran, Vikram plays an anti-hero. After his stunning performance as a blind man in Kaasi, he has a lot of expectations to live up to.
Gemini sees him playing a rowdy man, always getting into fights. One wishes that he would pay some attention to the story of the film he signs, instead of the character he is to portray.
Gemini is not original. In fact, it is reminiscent of Saran's previous work Amarkkalam. Saran's Alli Arjuna also had a boisterous man as protagonist.
Gemini is an orphan. He roams around with his bunch of cronies who are at his beck and call. Kalabhavan Mani is the leader of his rival camp. Clashes between the two form the major portion of the film.
Gemini bumps into Kiran and love blossoms in his otherwise arid life. Naturally, he wants to turn a new leaf. But his enemies do not allow it. They taunt and tease him. After this point, clashes between the rivals, romance and comedy alternates in the film.
The highlight in Gemini is undoubtedly Kalabhavan Mani's performance. He is the same man who made you weep with his performance in Vaasantiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum. He seems to prove that he can win your sympathy as well as hate.
Saran has woven Mani's mimicry talent into his character. As the paan-chewing Gemini, Vikram, too, delivers a convincing performance.
Saran's screenplay is his forte. Despite the fact that the basic plot is almost hackneyed, screenplay is racy, especially towards the climax and the final scene with Kalabhavan Mani. Cinematographer Venkatesh and music director Bharadwaj, who is from Saran's coterie is impressive. Perhaps that is why they gel so well in their work.
Bharadwaj's song O podu (two separate versions sung by Anuradha Sriram and Vikram) has become very popular. Gemini is your typical masala potboiler. And it works.
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