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Kannum Kannum is clean romantic fare
Pavithra Srinivasan | March 21, 2008 22:46 IST
Stories are often touted in Kollywood as 'different,', 'blowing your mind,' and tons of other catchphrases but, more often than not, they fail to live up to expectations. M R Mohan Radha's Kannum Kannum, directed by G Marimuthu, offers to be a story 'that might happen to anyone' and actually does manage to fulfill that promise.
There's only problem, though -- it fulfills it a little too well. Even with the premise that destiny is the only real villain.
When Sathyamurthy (Prasanna) walks in as a sincere, hard-working idealist, you pretty much know where the movie is headed. He donates a part of his salary to the orphanage that brought him up, works very hard, writes poetry, and is everything a storybook hero ought to be. And then he falls for a girl in Kutralam, who wrote the exact same poem for a contest.
Just for the heck of it, Anandhi (newcomer Udayathara) gives in a nom-de-plume when she sends in her entry, while Sathyamurthy goes under the name of Sathya -- which provides the grounds to complicate matters. Murthy, as he's otherwise known generally, then descends to his friend Ashok's home in Kutrallam to court his ladylove, completely unaware of the fact that Ashok's sister is his secret beloved. But fate plays a hand here: Anandhi sets off on a college trip, leaving Murthy with no access to her whereabouts.
What Murthy experiences, when he lands at his friend's home, is something he never bargained for: as a guest in a happy family of three sisters and a loving father, he receives a share of the family love he has yearned for all his life. Two weeks pass by in a flash, with Murthy learning everything about Ashok's family, living life to the hilt. Never has he had such complete happiness.
And then fate strikes again. Ashok's life is cut short in an unforeseen accident, leaving behind a distraught family, three grieving sisters and Anandhi, who returns to think of Murthy as a murderer; the reason for her beloved brother's death.
Prasanna returns as the chocolate hero; a role he acts with consummate ease. With his puppy-dog eyes, comfortable body language, and that indefinable something that proclaims a hidden strength and nerves of steel, you can't help but be impressed by the solidity he brings to the role. He's easily one of the more graceful heroes to occupy the screen, and that's saying a lot.
Udayathara's position is a little ambivalent: sure, she's the delightful girl next door and also emotes quite well when she's required to, but she could have been dolled up a little. Her perky college friend looks better in some shots.
But the role that really takes the cake is the whole family and Kutrallam itself. Kutrallam has been shown at its beautiful best, particularly that house, with its view of the falls. The ambience brings the happy family into complete view, without seeming unnatural, contrived or silly -- and that's a vast improvement over most movies.
Vijay Kumar, as the father, fits in very well.
Kudos to the director for keeping the screenplay extremely consistent, and the dialogues normal and realistic. However, it has to be admitted that the story has no pep. Where's the suspense when Murthy finally realises who his beloved is? What about the knots of tearing worry and angst when they realise what their relationship will entail? What about all the numerous situations that would develop once the family knows the truth? It's not that these aren't considered, but the way they've been dealt with is dull, and minus the drama required for the big screen.
Vadivelu's comedy produces a few laughs and some comic relief when it's most needed, though it has absolutely no relevance to the story.
Dhina's music is soulful in parts. That title track, and the song Anbe Anbe make your feet tap, while also showing the bonding between Murthy and the family. The rest serve the purpose of formula movies.
Kannum Kannum might be a hattrick for Prasanna; it has 'sleeper-hit' written all over it. Watch it for some nice feel-good family moments, beautiful Kutrallam and clean, logical romantic fare.
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