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Parthiban Kanavu



Sneha and Srikanth in "Parthiban Kanavu" - wholesome fare.

WHEN THE hero says, "My problem is that everyone around me is good," you realise that the positive nature of all the characters is one of the strong points of Sathyajothi Films' "Parthiban Kanavu". Sustaining audience interest in a film that has no obvious villain is no mean task. But the director accomplishes it with élan. It is difficult to believe that it is writer-director Karu. Pazhaniappan's first venture. The treatment shows such finesse. With just a few unwanted appendages, this neat offering with Srikanth and Sneha in the lead ought to do well.

The next scoring point is that the characters react naturally to joy, sadness and disappointment — no exaggerated expressions, no melodrama. Whether it is the hero, the heroine or the reformed, responsible Manivannan, each character has been etched with refinement. The comedy line (written by Prasanna Kumar) has touches of the Thangavelu-M. Saroja track in Sridhar's "Kalyana Parisu." Vivek has you in splits most of the time. And paired with him is Devadarshini, who enters cinema with solid experience on the small screen. Her skill at comedy that was evident in the humorous TV serial, "Ramani vs Ramani" comes to the fore in "Parthiban Kanavu." Together, Vivek and Devadarshini make an enlivening pair. Devan, the singer, turns to acting with "Parthiban ... "

Parthiban (Srikanth) sees Sathya (Sneha) at the bus stop and immediately flips for her. It is a pleasant surprise when his parents force him to go with them and see the girl of their choice, because it is Sathya who is the prospective bride. At least that's what he thinks. The jolt comes just after marriage. The suspense element has been well worked out in this segment. What follows is a host of coincidences, both pleasant and otherwise, till differences between the couple are ironed out. Only the turnabout of Parthiban in the end is too sudden and hence not credible.

When the film opens with a typical filmi number with Jennifer and a host of dancers, you tend to groan. But that is for just a few minutes before you realise the cleverness of the director — the song thankfully does not undermine the decency in the narration but at the same time satisfies the frontbenchers. The same can be said of the two fight sequences.

Till date this is the best role that has come Sneha's way and the charming actress has utilised the opportunity well. With make-up or without it, Sneha sparkles. The way in which she clearly differentiates the contrasts in her character warrants special mention. Her underplayed reactions are an added treat. Srikanth who sports a different look as Parthiban, is again apt. As the fun-loving young man and the much-married, worried hero he makes a mark. Both the artistes badly need a hit — "Parthiban Kanavu" should be it. Raviprakash is Kalyanasundaram, father of Parthiban and his portrayal spells dignity. `Nagesh' Krishnamurthy, the affectionate grandpa, is another actor who impresses.

R. Divakaran's camera caresses the beautiful locations of Sri Lanka and also captures the indoor scenes in the most aesthetic way possible — a talented technician has arrived. Rajivan's artwork is another asset — the sets that take you down the memory lane in duet picturisation ("Bak Bak Madapura ... " song), and the home of the hero are but two examples. Suresh Urs' editing is yet another proof of the veteran's prowess.

Composer Vidyasagar's name sells. The "Aalangili ... " and " Kana Kandaen ... " songs tell you why — simply scintillating. It is not often that you get to see a wholesome film. "Parthiban Kanavu," appearing this summer, deserves a warm welcome.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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