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Film Review: ''Pennin Manadhai Thottu''


ANOTHER STORYLINE of the Mills and Boon romance variety. The kind one has seen and will continue to see in innumerable films, is Roja Combines' ``Pennin Manadhai Thottu''.

Sunil (Prabhudeva) and Sunitha (Jayaseel) are classmates and of course, lovers too. Their path to bliss is blocked by Sunitha's sister's husband, a shady character, who fixes her marriage with an accomplice of his, for an amount. The sisters await Sunil's arrival, as he promises to save her in the nick of time, but it proves in vain. The sister (Aishwarya) not knowing how else she could stop the impending doom, commits suicide. Sunita refuses to forgive Sunil who arrives on the scene late. Sunil has a valid explanation but like all impulsive, hotheaded heroines, Sunita refuses to give him a patient hearing. And her impatience helps the story culminate in a happy climax in the rain.Jayaseel, the popular model, is a refreshing new face with expressive eyes. Prabhudeva has begun to make a sincere attempt at serious action and it shows. It is an impressive cameo for Sarat Kumar, who plays Prabhudeva's brother. Though melodramatic in parts, the portrayal has a certain amount of sensitivity also.

So far, Dhamu and a few others have been eternal fixtures on the college campus of many a film. Recently Ramji has joined the group. In ``Pennin Manadhai Thottu'' he is again a college student whose bravado seems unwarranted.

The huge family of Ganpath (Mouli) is a cheerful lot. But veterans like `Kakka' Radhakrishnan and S. N. Lakshmi could have been better utilised. Mayilsami and `Chaplin' Balu provide a few laughable moments with their Sri Lankan Tamil and typical ``Madras'' lingo.

Vaiyapuri's effective reactions in the final scenes are so well enacted that they make a strong impact.

Why does S. A. Rajkumar have to venture into penning lyrics as well? The ``Naan Salt Kotta'' number is one viewers can do without. The saving grace here is the sequential movement of Prabhudeva and Raju Sundaram who complete a long drawn out dance scene in one neat shot.

Prabhudeva's overt expressions when he sees Sunitha inside the lift after a long time and Sunitha yelling at him in a high- pitched voice, even after he had saved her niece's life, are too loud and unnatural.

The screenplay and direction are reasonably appealing. But why did you have to choose a plot used so many times, and that too with very little novelty, Mr. Ezhil?

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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