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Kalloori is realistic
Pavithra Srinivasan | December 07, 2007 17:20 IST
Remember all those eternal college gags about taking just a notebook to class, sitting around doing nothing, wearing flashy designer clothes; dashing heroes, bikes, corny jokes et al?
After watching S Pictures' Kalloori, directed by Balaji Sakthivel, you will forget all about them. The director's latest Tamil offering, post the magnificently made Kaadhal, brings you the real McCoy -- college in its most realistic, believable and interesting format ever.
Admittedly, you go in, not expecting much. After all, films immediately proceeding a hit are always bound to disappoint. And what's new about just another umpteenth-time college flick anyway?
But the movie surprises you.
It has a whole gaggle of newcomers, which sort of makes you wonder how you're ever going to distinguish one from the other. And it's a big gang -- nine friends who've been together right from school, and are now stepping side-by-side into the same history course in college.
Fortunately for the screenplay, all nine aren't just your average stereotypes of bosom-buddies who swear by writing in blood that they will never part until death and all that jazz.
Muthuchelvan (Akhil) is clearly the main protagonist -- the shy and silent guy eager to improve his lot.
Then there's Adhilakshmi who eats all the time; Kayalvizhi, who dispenses advice and generally sees to the group's good behavior; Ramesh, the joker of the group who speaks with a southern slang; Kamatchi, a rich landowner's son who walks around with loads of jewelry; and hold on, there's even an Orlando Bloom [Images] look-alike!
The rest of the cast, which include Balamurugan, Hema, Rajeswari, Sailatha, Mayareddy, Arunkumar, Alex and Prakash have all etched commendable portraits.
Into this remarkably endearing and rural group suddenly stumbles Shobana [Images] (Tamanna), the fair-complexioned and well-dressed anachronism. The nine are wary of her at first, as she's morose and aloof -- but a chance encounter quickly brings them together, and they bond as friends in the most natural way possible -- by learning English!
But it's Balaji Sakthivel'a screenplay and excellent dialogues that capture your attention at once and make you stick to your seat like Fevicol. Not once, in such a done-to-death premise, does the movie lose your attention. The average rural and economically-challenged southern Tamil Nadu college-goer is brought to life in demure salwars, swathed dupattas, tightly braided, and ordinary shirts.
Akhil as Muthu sidles into your heart with his earnestness, as does Adhilakshmi, who constantly hogs all the food that comes her way -- she's the group's thinnipandaaram.
Tamanna, who looks remarkably like Kareena Kapoor [Images] fulfils the part of a pretty lass very well. To them, she's a goddess straight from heaven. Soon enough, though, she shows herself to be an ordinary young girl with no extraordinary airs -- and becomes a part of them. And during those moments, when she suspects her friends of stealing an opportunity of expressing her love for one of the group, her mutinous face and angry expressions are perfect. And when she finally realizes that her love is not all that one-sided, her face is a treat to watch.
She's obviously been told to cut down on the melodrama as the rest of the group's so natural that they hardly seem to be speaking dialogues.
For all you know, a camera might have been stuck into an ordinary college gang, and you wouldn't have noticed the difference. It makes you want to yearn to be a part of them.
Kayal, who's forever ensuring that everyone's on their best behaviour plays the part of the well-intentioned friend who confuses issues so well, that you wonder if she's even acting.
Chezhian's cinematography is perfection itself, capturing the dustiness of the surrounds and the college accurately.
Joshua Sridhar's music has been used well, and in the style of Kaadhal -- montages of college life and young love flitting through the song, especially Sariya Thavaraa. No unnecessary dance numbers mar the proceedings, and violence, except when it adds colour to the story, is devoid of gore.
The climax is unexpected -- as is the whole movie, pretty much. Balaji Sakthivel has made clever use of unlooked for twists and little turns top make sure no part of the movie appears stale. And here he is doing what comes best to him: take an ordinary plot and weave a believable story around it.
Kalloori might be devoid of action, item songs and glitzy costumes -- but what it gives you is the real deal. And reality is always much more interesting than fiction.
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