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Chennai Kadhal is a letdown
Sriram Iyer | December 11, 2006 15:04 IST
For someone completely unexposed to Indian cinema, Chennai Kadhal might provide a comprehensive round up of the genre -- especially of the South Indian varieties. Almost every scene in the movie bears semblance to one or more movies you might have seen before. The question is, why then should one watch the movie?
The movie is director Vikraman's supposed attempt to make something different. It is surely not one of his usual slow paced dramas, but that alone is not enough to make it 'different,' by any standards. He has chosen a plot older than a heavily worn out doormat.
Gautham (Bharath) is a spoilt college dropout who hangs out with a set of friends who work in a garage that supplies vehicles for film shoots. Narmada (Genelia) is the daughter of typically rich and famous mafia leader, Sakthivel (Radha Ravi). Unhappy with her father's immoral ways, she lives away from her family in a hostel and supports her education with what she earns from working at a call-center by night.
A stroke of luck gets them to meet and for some reason Narmada believes that Gautham is an honest and brave police inspector, and falls for him. Gautham plays along. Funnily, even after the myth is broken, it doesn't take more than one stupid dialogue for him to convince the seemingly furious Narmada that he deserves to be forgiven.
Subsequently, their love story invites the obvious wrath of Sakthivel. To avoid trouble, the lovers elope to Mumbai, but their troubles don't end there. The rest of the story deals with Gautham's struggle to get the love of his life.
One might ignore the cliched plot, if it had been packaged differently. But sadly, even the treatment isn't any different from what you have seen earlier. Every scene brushes up the viewers' memory of scenes from their favourite movies. The comic element, which so often comes to the rescue of such potential super-bloopers, has also failed miserably in this movie, thanks to weak dialogues and bad timing. If you are expecting some sort of relief from the action sequences, poor screenplay will let you down here as well.
Considering the performances, Radha Ravi is the only saving grace in the movie amidst all the disappointment. But fans would say that he could have chosen a better script for his comeback. Bharath does fairly well, but only relative to the performance of the rest of the cast. Genelia stands up yet again to prove the point that if you are pretty and well dressed, you can get away with anything, without acting.
As far as music is concerned, Joshua Sridhar continues his ordinary run and surely remains unable to live up to the standard he set with Kadhal. The songs appear uncalled for, with a sudden splash of colours all over the screen -- exotic locales, flowers and over-colourful costumes.
This looks like a jolt in Bharath's career graph, which was moving steadily up until now. Having done a good variety of roles, he is expected to choose his roles more wisely. Considering his performance in the recent Em Mahan, this is a gross let down.
It has been quite some time since Vikraman's last movie. This has been a real breach of trust for those who have awaited his next release with such anticipation.
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