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Friday, February 09, 2001

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Film Review: Minnalae


IT'S PERFECT for a Velentine's Day out. ``Minnalae'', a Cee I TV Entertainment presentation, is a love story about young hearts, handled with a lot of verve and vigour.

There is no doubt a lot of predictability about the plot, but like somebody said, ``there are only 20-odd stories from which most Indian films borrow themes!'' This has shades of ``Saajan'', where one impersonated the other, but in ``Minnalae'', it is done without the other's consent.

The film opens in an engineering college. The rough n' tough Rajesh (Madhavan) and suave and brainy Sam (Abbas) are arch rivals... (they are seen everywhere in the campus except in their respective classrooms!). Most times, it's only first talk.

Two years later... Rajesh is a computer instructor while Abbas has gone to America. Rajesh's grandfather (Nagesh) is always after him to find a girl... and Rajesh finds his dream girl on a rainy night. She is dancing and playing with some street children... he catches glimpses of her in the lightning... Cupid finds his target!

Enter Rina (Rima), a strong-minded, independent girl, who is betrothed to the U.S. settled Rajeev. But Rajesh has lost his heart to her and vows to win her. So he impersonates Rajeev and, naturally Rina falls in love with him.

But what about Rajeev? (by now, you would have guessed Rajeev is actually Sam. His full name is Rajeev Samuel!) Will Rina forgive Rajesh?

The film sags a bit in the initial stages where too much time is wasted establishing the rivalry between Rajesh and Sam. But soon the tempo picks up. Also, director Gautham could have avoided the cliched climax at the airport.

It is a role that teen heart-throb Madhavan can do in his sleep, now. And he does it well. Moon Moon Sen's other daughter Rima makes her debut with a lot of dignity and grace. She shows promise. One wonders why Abbas' career has not really taken off. He has potential.

As for the technical departments, the picturisation of songs is very stylish and youthful, and the music by Harris Gayaraj suits the theme to a T.

As usual, Vivek corners the applause. He lifts the mood notches higher with hilarious wisecracks.

``Minnalae'' is a film written with the yuppie, college-going youngsters in mind and is sure to go down well with them.

SAVITHA PADMANABHAN

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