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Preachy and predictable



Daas

At the outset, the makers have to be thanked for changing the original title, `Rascal,' to `Daas,' (U). You can forget the ignorable slug, `A lovable rascal.' This Lakshmi Movie Makers (India) Ltd. production amply proves that a hero, despite a formidable success record, cannot always lead a film to victory without a gripping script and storyline to back him. Out from the cosy cocoon of his home creations, Ravi takes his first plunge into alien territory and sadly falls flat. Babu Yogeswaran has let him down badly. The writer-director makes his debut with a meandering story, tedious screenplay, contrived dialogue and lacklustre direction.

Antony Daas (`Jayam' Ravi) is the usual virile hero desperately in love with his classmate Rajeswari (Renuka Menon), daughter of the town's notorious leader, Annachi (Shanmugharajan). An insular casteist, Annachi is not going to allow his daughter or even his brother's daughter (Monika) to get away with romance. Ravi matches his macho frame with his lover boy looks and does quite an effective job. But his effort does little to salvage the film. With eyes that sparkle and face that entices Renuka Menon ought to have a winning innings in cinema. Vadivelu's comedy offers nothing new.

Yuvan Shankar Raja's `Samikitta ... ' has striking Ilaiyaraja touches. Rocky Rajesh's stunt choreography looks so dangerous that it is ludicrous when the hero escapes with bruises.

The moment Yogeswaran gets confused about whether he would follow the run-of-the-mill route of love or preach religious unity the film gets boring. Trying, particularly in the second half, you anxiously await curtains.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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