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Athu Oru Kana Kaalam disappoints
Shobha Warrier | November 08, 2005 14:24 IST
It is the right of a writer to write, and rewrite a story. It is also the right of a director to make and remake a film as many times as he wants, but it is the right of those who watch the finished product to accept it or reject it.
Balu Mahendra, noted cinematographer and filmmaker, has every right to remake a film he made 20 years ago. But if he had declared it openly, we would be prepared for it. That is the reason you feel cheated as you watch his new release, Athu Oru Kana Kaalam.
When the film begins, déjà vu hits you and soon you find that it is his old Malayalam film Yatra (made in 1985 with Mammootty and Shobhana in the lead) we are watching again with a new young cast, just in Tamil this time.
Those who have not seen the original may find the film poignant and interesting but as a person who has seen the original with two great artistes at their best, I found the film extremely disappointing.
There is absolutely no comparison between Mammootty and Dhanush, or Shobhana and Priya Mani. To be fair to the young heroine, Priya Mani looks innocent and vulnerable but when you have seen the same role performed with more finesse and maturity, you cannot help but feel disappointed.
The story starts with Srinivasan (Dhanush) escaping from jail and hitching a ride on a truck to meet his love Thulasi (Priya Mani). His story is told in flashback to the lorry driver. Like we have seen in many films, the young man Cheenu and his ambitious father are always fighting. When the parents leave home for a week, Cheenu is left in the maid's care.
Soon, he meets the maid's daughter, Thulasi, his childhood playmate. They fall in love. As expected, his father objects to his son falling in love with the servant's daughter. The son protests by getting drunk with his friends and some simple twists of fate land him in jail.
The difference between Yatra and Athu Oru Kana Kaalam is, if Yatra was the love story of two adults, this is the love story of two adolescents.
There is also no comparison between some of Balu Mahendra's earlier films like Kokila (his very first directorial venture) Veedu, Moondram Pirai, Sandhya Raagam, or even Yatra, and his latest film. One feels very disappointed with Athu Oru Kana Kaalam. Those who have not watched those films, especially Yatra, and those who prefer poignant tales to masala films, may find this slow-moving film appealing.
Because it is definitely the classiest film among all the Tamil Diwali releases.
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