A glossy remake -- Naan Avan Illai
ENGROSSING: Naan Avan Illai
Director: Selva Cast: Jeevan, Sneha, Namitha, Malavika, Jyothirmayi, Keerthi Chawla
Storyline: A man accused of being a bigamous cheat is brought to trial.
Bottomline: Never trust a stranger till you do a thorough background check
This V. Hitesh Jhabak production has a lot going for it fast-paced narrative, slick editing, apt casting and a plot that eschews candyfloss formula. Inspired by K. Balachander's 1970s original, the remake is a high gloss product.
The anti-hero (Jeevan) is a slippery modern-day philanderer who dupes women, marries them and decamps with their valuables. Nabbed, he looks nothing like his previous avatars.
In court, he clings staunchly to his defence plea of mistaken identity. Is he really the wanted man or not?
Selva's screenplay is engrossing as each victim's (Malavika, Jyotirmayi, Keerthi Chawla and Namitha) story unfolds on the witness stand. Though sequences are knit cohesively, there are hiccups in the narrative.
The lack of admissible evidence, both documentary and photographic, is hard to swallow. Are today's metro-savvy girls that naïve? There is a fine line between innocence and gullibility but the accused man's diatribes try to justify that it is okay to take advantage of both.
Why would an intelligent successful businesswoman (Namitha) remain fixated on a conman likely to leave her high and dry? Equally puzzling is the judge's daughter's (Sneha) admiration for an offender.
This is a dream role and a major step forward for Jeevan after `Thiruttu Payale.' The actor cashes in by doing a neat job as he explores grey shades with relaxed assurance.
The Madhava Menon role is a cut above the other assumed identities and Jeevan pulls it off with extra effort. Greater mobility in expression while emoting and more grace in the dance moves are areas to be worked on, overall.
The female leads sizzle, as gym-toned figures display contemporary styles to advantage.
Sneha's wardrobe is especially eye-catching and proves that trendy need not necessarily mean scanty. While they all get fairly even footage, Sneha and Jyothirmayi make a mark with their expressive features.
As always, it is a pleasure watching Lakshmi (she plays the judge) in action, as she makes each minute of screen-time count.
Rajkapoor as the police officer determined to clinch a conviction and Livingston as Jeevan's brother are assets to the cast. One title song and five romantic duets. What more can a music director ask for?
Vijay Antony, who comes up with a mélange of sounds and beats, could have made better use of the opportunity. Of course he has encouraged up-and-coming singers who warble with gusto.
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