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Age does matter -- Vallavan



LOVE IS ITS TRIGGERING FORCE: Vallavan

Vallavan

Genre: Romance
Director: Silambarasan
Cast: Simbu, Reema Sen, Nayantara, Sandhya
Storyline: Storm brews when the heroine gets to know that the hero is younger than she. And there's a flashback too!
Bottomline: A maker raring to go!

For a man in his early 20s, Silambarasan's thought processes are quite mature. Yet sometimes the youngster goes overboard in his self-confidence and sounds too conceited for comfort in Sri Raj Lakshmi Films (P) Ltd.'s `Vallavan' (U/A). Besides conceiving the line, charting the script, sharing dialogue credits with Balakumaran, crooning a couple of numbers, and directing the venture Simbu also plays hero! Vallavan indeed!

Romance is the trigger for explosive action in `Vallavan.' Adolescent love fizzles out and a more ardent one takes its place. Come to think of it, Simbu has taken up a non-issue as the crux and manages to spin a yarn that's interesting for the most part. Because wooing a woman, who is a few years older than the man, is actually no big deal. And Nayantara being so averse to the idea as to call off the relationship has no strong reason. She plays Swapna, an attractive lecturer, who doesn't know about the age factor when she falls for him. When she does she throws him out of her life. At least she tries to.

From the school days

The flashback takes you to Vallavan's school days when he was head over heels in love with Geetha (Reema Sen), also a school goer. Her eccentricities and tantrums notwithstanding, he is sincere in his feelings, till matters reach a breaking point. Only the true friendship he shares with Suchi (Sandhya) in school continues throughout.

As a schoolboy and later a college student Simbu looks convincing. But accepting Reema Sen in a schoolgirl's garb isn't all that easy. Otherwise, in one of those rare performing roles that have come Sen's way (though it is more a glorified cameo) she impresses. She also deserves credit for appearing without make-up in the schoolgirl scenes. (Geetha's pinpricks later on in the name of revenge, are too childish.)

The Simbu-Nayan on-screen chemistry sets the screen on fire, and in showcasing many of the present day youngsters' stand on physical intimacy prior to marriage, Simbu makes `Vallavan' more A than U.

The school cultural scenario is thoroughly authentic. Sandhya's part as Simbu's friend is the smallest of the three, though he has tried to create screen space for her. S.V.Shekher's timing in dialogue is admirable.

Simbu has to be lauded for utilising the cast well, and all characters big and small, have both uniqueness and purpose.

Yuvan Shanker's melodic approach makes `Vallava ... ' hum-worthy.

Cinematographer Priyan's tone, angles and lighting, and Rajeevan's art need mention here. The subtle re-mix of `Kadhal Vandhidichu ... ' and Simbu's singing of it appeals.

Action and reactions

While Nayan over reacts to situations with anger, Simbu sheds tears once too often. As far as the narration goes, you find sequences that crop up abruptly, which naturally affect the flow. To quote just one example, the last song, `Yammaadi ... ' suddenly springs up on you from nowhere! So does Vijaya T. Rajendar, who does a jig at the end of the number!

You understand that Simbu pruned the film once again, a couple of days after its release. A prudent move!

Simbu toed a totally different line in `Manmadhan,' whose rich canvas and impressive treatment won it ample success. `Vallavan's basic sketch is simpler, though the maker has lent it his trademark frills.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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