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Rebirth in comic mode

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

`Thanthramukhi,' UAA's latest comedy has its hilarious moments.



COMMON STAGE THEME:Thanthramukhi Photo: M. Karunakaran

Man playing woman and sanyasins acting funny, have been fodder for many a comic caper on the Tamil stage. UAA's 56th production `Thanthramukhi,' another rib-tickler from the house of YGM after `Kaadhalikka Naeramundu,' again has these predictable ingredients. But it also has some delectable dialogue. The title, a take-off on the superstar's recent super hit film, brings a smile to your lips. And though not a spoof, `Thanthramukhi' deals with the theme of re-incarnation in jocular fashion.

Beginning with titles that are beamed to music from films with supernatural and re-birth themes such as `Adhey Kangal' and `Nenjam Marappadhillai,' dramatist and director YGM makes clear what the play will be all about.

`Solution' Sundaram is an HR consultant, capable of tackling all kinds of problems people come to him with. So when Hari seeks Sundaram's help for a way to fight his diffidence with women, Sundaram's friend, a siddhar, who can predict a person's previous birth and its impact on the present, drops a bombshell about Hari's earlier birth. Things turn crazy as, to nullify the evils of the other janma, Hari has to disguise himself as Harini ...

Absolutely at home

Stage is his relaxing zone, proves YGM. He is absolutely at home in the role of Sundaram, taking a dig at TV soaps now and then and handling the few, minor faux pas with ease. Anandhi as `Reptile' Rakkamma (Why not, when there can be a `Paravai' Muniyamma, is the justification.) has you in splits most of the time with her maxims and conundrums. (Only that she could have avoided the high-pitched gibberish in the name of music.)

Another overdone portrayal is R. Purushottaman's Siddhar. His howls are refrains that irk. As Hari and Harini, T. Ramanujam has a lot of scope, which he can make even better use of. R. Balaji's (`Kuppai' Ramasamy) apt expressions and cheerful demeanour add pep, while J. Subramaniam as Mayaandi, the sexton, offers some healthy, intelligent humour. In these sequences `Chitralaya' Sriram, story-dialogue writer of `Thanthramukhi,' does the prestigious prefix and his dad, (`Chitralaya' Gopu) proud. Padma Stage, in charge of sets, can concentrate more on keeping the behind-the-scene movements of artistes, hidden from view.

Y.Gee. Mahendra has developed into an art, the skill to improvise and spontaneously add words to suit the occasion. So it was the other evening at the Bharat Kalachar auditorium, where Rajan Eye Care Hospital had organised `Thanthramukhi' as a charity show for Chennai Vision Charitable Trust donors.

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