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"One Two Three"


Raju Sundaram, Nagendra Prasad, Jyotika and Prabhu Deva in ``One Two Three''... interesting star cast.

SHEER THEATRICS can never be a substitute for spontaneous humour. Sidesh Films' "One Two Three" proves it amply. Some of the scenes do make you laugh — but these are few and far between.

Somehow when you notice certain uniqueness in the casting, you tend to expect the same about the other aspects of the film too. "One Two Three" has the three dancing brothers, Raju Sundaram, Prabhu Deva and Nagendra Prasad playing pivotal roles, with Jyotika as the heroine — and if you assume that the film would be a racy comedy that has you in splits throughout, you will be disappointed.

The theme is an elevated one, undoubtedly — that no physically challenged person wants pity. But there is neither a plausible story nor a well framed screenplay to back it.

Tirupathi (Prabhu Deva), Pazhani (Raju Sundaram) and Chidambaram (Nagendra Prasad) are physically impaired — one cannot see, the second is hard of hearing and the third is mute. None has a family. They are friends who begin to live under the same roof. Narmada (Jyotika) enters their lives and all three fall in love with her. Who wins her hand eventually (and that's an easy guess) is what ``One Two Three'' tells you.

The characters are too superficial even for a light film. They just move from one frame to another without much purpose — at least that's the impression you get. Hence, it's not just the thief who enters the household who is confused. Even the viewer is not too sure the names of the three heroes, till the end.

Towards the end of the first half you are made to believe that Jyotika's role is a much stronger one and there is a solid background to her act of vengeance. But it vamooses within minutes and you have the predictable line of events showing up.

It is a tightrope walk for director K. Subhash because presenting physical impairment without hurting sentiments is not easy. And the director does come out unscathed. Much of it is situational humour and the dialogue, again by Subhash, accentuates the comic impact in some of the scenes.

Prabhu Deva is improving in emotional portrayal as ``One Two Three'' proves. His voice modulation is effective. The artiste who has dubbed for Raju Sundaram has also done a neat job. Jyotika looks slim and stunning. Her screen presence is an asset indeed. But has her `voice' been changed this time? It is not one that suits her well.

Whatever has happened to Deva? A couple of numbers are mere glorified recitations. (Probably composed with the hope that it would click like "Appa Appa Aiyappa" did) It is even sadder when such exercises involve singers of the calibre of Anuradha Sriram.

The dancing prowess of the Sundaram brothers comes to the fore in the number ``One Two Three.''

Director Subhash made you laugh and ponder to a certain extent in ``Yezhaiyin Sirippil''. He has tried the same in ``One Two Three'' — the idea is laudable but the execution leaves much to be desired.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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