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Friday, May 18, 2001

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Film Review: Sigamani Ramamani


MOVE OVER, it is Visu, his value systems and his brand of presentation that takes centrestage in Rajco's ``Sigamani Ramamani''.

While all that he propagates through this film are indeed laudable - role of women, their place in the family, self-esteem, the importance of education and of course marriage - sometimes one wonders if the audiences are so herd-like that they need to be told like school children what they must do and how they must behave?

Having said all that, this kind of a film and its contents could appeal to the average male in Tamil Nadu who in all probability goes through the tugs and pulls of a family that may consist of aged parents, wife and siblings and their families.

Yet the crudity with which it is expressed with no pretension of niceties or subtleties is what sets it apart from a well-done product. This is a tale of a man Sigamani (S.Ve. Shekhar) who runs away from a battle zone called home where his wife, mother, sister and her husband vie for his opinions and affection. Not knowing how to please all of them without offending them too, he is caught in the crossfire only to run the way one day when things get a bit out of hands - as he says in the course of the film ``it all started with vengaya sambhar''. Now that he has run away each blames the other with the daughter making her own plans with the completely undesirable neighbour's son.

In the course of survival outside the ambit of the family he comes across Sundaramurthy (Visu) a wealthy man who needs a manager to look after one of his kalyana mandapams. Of course Sigamani gets hired in a most `unique' fashion if one may add here - yet another Visu style of presentation. He goes round with a wheel chair even if he is able and thereby hangs yet another tale.

Seeing the trauma his protegee goes through day after day, night after night he takes matters into his hand and not only allows a situation to get to a point where the mystery of the wheel chair is revealed but also offers to set right the situation in Sigamani's house. How they go about it is what the film goes on to tell - a story that is plausible but given a larger than life interpretation with dialogue and situations that is sure to drive home messages for those looking for it.

With story, dialogue and direction by Visu, the film has Oorvasi, Manorama, `Crazy' Mohan, R. Sundararajan, Pandu, Anu Mohan, Vennira Aadai Murthy, and Kumari Muthu in the cast. Music by Chandrabose is entirely forgettable with one number being a medley of old Tamil songs.

One can also ignore the colour compositions, the frames and angles, the transitions, the frames and angles, the transitions from one scene to another - it can easily pass for a `nadagam' on celluloid, pun intended.

CHITRA MAHESH

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