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Home > India > Movies > Reviews

Santhosh Subramaniam is a masala entertainer

Pavithra Srinivasan | April 12, 2008 17:05 IST

'Love makes life beautiful'  � says the tagline of Kalaprathi S Agoram's Santhosh Subramaniam directed by M Raja, and you realise, once you're out of the movie hall, that the underlying message applies not just to romantic relationships, but other kinds as well.

Take, for example, the relationship between Santhosh the protagonist ('Jeyam' Ravi) and his father Subramaniam (Prakashraj); the son is always subdued, eager to acquiesce to his father, not having a say in choosing even his own shirt. Everything, from business decisions and board meetings, arranging a marriage to eating puri the right way are designated by this domineering father who always seeks the best for his twenty-four year old son. No one else at home disagrees. They are caricatures, right from mother Geetha to his sisters and brother (Sadagopan Ramesh), nodding their heads in assent.

Enter Hasini (Genelia), who's everything a guy could possibly ask for: bubbly, effervescent like fresh champagne, and always blurting out the unexpected. She tumbles out of classrooms, befriends teashop owners, and calls the whole world her friend.

To Santhosh, who's never known what it is to be free and easy his own home, her naivet� and innocence are captivating. Through a series of comical and romantic interludes, assisted by his friends (Premji Amaren and Co), the two gradually strike up first a friendship � which blossoms into love.

And then begins the true test of any relationship: getting the parents to approve the girl. Santhosh has next to no idea about how to proceed, but valiantly tries to get his point across: he asks his father to just give the girl a chance. Seven days, and if she doesn't pass the test, she can pack her bags. With a Damocles' Sword hanging on her head, Hasini steps into her beloved's home.

A classy remake of the Telugu blockbuster Bommarillu (Toy-house), the movie is a love-story � but it strives to be something even more. Rarely do you get primary characters that are well etched; cinema has always portrayed its players in stereotypes. Here, however, the hero and heroine each come with their own quirks, distinctive flaws and plusses. Hasini might be a bubbly girl who sometimes gets on your nerves but she has a habit of bleating out every thing to everyone; Santhosh might be live in mortal fear of his father, but he still takes every chance to defy him out of the house. Where does a father's love end, and friendship begin?

'Jeyam' Ravi � sometimes known as 'Remake' Ravi for his extraordinary penchant for starring in remakes, performs with his usual flair in this one too.

Genelia appears a little too good to be true, at first. But her character grows on you.

As for Prakashraj, the role's a cakewalk. He's dignified, authoritative, domineering and downright infuriating. And in the end, when he holds his son's hand within his own, he brings an unexpected tear in your eye.

Shayaji Shinde's cameo as Genelia's father is thankfully too short to be of any importance; Kausalya and Geetha flit in and out of the frame, acting as the support system.

Devi Sri Prasad's music follows the Telugu version faithfully, right down to the background score � which is merry and uplifting. Senthamizh Pesum Azhagu Juliet sets the tone, while Yeppadi Iruntha Yem Manasu makes you tap your feet.

Editor Mohan's work is slick and neat, dwelling just the right amount in the right places, and moving away the narrative when necessary.

Yet another emotional, romantic piece that puts you in a good mood about life, love and relationships. Go for it.

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