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Lesa Lesa

EVERY FRAME of "Lesa Lesa" spells aesthetics, thanks to award winning efforts by art director Sabu Cyril and cinematographer Thiru. The scene, props, lighting and picturisation transport the viewer to the countryside of the West that you have watched with awe in many an English film. The two technicians have created exquisite paintings on the large canvas in Film Works' "Lesa Lesa". Ooty and the hills around provide an exotic milieu that is almost poetic, for the story of Rakesh (Shaam) and his friend Chandru (Vivek). Chandru is a wastrel who has squandered the huge amount of money that his grandfather (Radha Ravi) had given him, but manages to make the old man believe that he has invested the money well and is a rich businessman in Ooty.

Problems begin when granddad decides that his family that includes his wife and a battalion of granddaughters — one of whom is Bala (Trisha) — would go over to Ooty for summer. Chandru who is actually living in his friend Rakesh's home, frantically seeks his help. And Rakesh, who yearns for a family because he himself has none, allows Chandru to bring the huge crowd to his house, where Chandru would pose as the owner of the place and Rakesh would act as his employee. "Lesa Lesa" is racy and full of fun and frolic till this point. It is only when Bala's past begins to unfold that there is a lull, and of course, the climax that is so predictable is a disappointment. The story, screenplay and direction are Priyadarshan's. "Lesa Lesa" ought to have been Trisha's debut. As a youngster facing grave problems she is appealing. Shaam once again shows that he is a natural performer. But the surprise packet is the entry of Madhavan. As a fiery, forthright and straightforward professor, he makes a mark. Only that this segment could have been pruned a little. The same can be said of the elongated Anthakshari sequence (where Radha Ravi's elegant dance movements are a pleasant surprise). Vivek has a significant role in the happenings — a chance that the actor has made the most of.

The flavour of the Malayalam tongue is strong in "Lesa Lesa", what with actors V. M. C. Haneefa, Srinivasan and Innocent hogging the show initially. Haneefa is funny as Chandru's uncle who meets with an accident every time he tries to expose his nephew. However the serendipitous situations that work in Chandru's favour are not new to the Tamil screen. Srinivasan, as the servant in the household is effective in comedy and Innocent as the man going round the town with a knife to kill Chandru invests a touch of sadness and innocence to the role even amidst the comic encounters. Dialogue and diction enhance the impact made by these actors. Viewers are already familiar with Harris Jeyaraj's "Lesa Lesa" compositions — the title song sung by Anuradha Sriram and "Ulaga Azhagiyae" expressively rendered by Karthik, are enjoyable.

Whether it is a remake or otherwise is immaterial — if one can forget the avoidable protractions in the second half, Vikram Singh's "Lesa Lesa" is a visual treat.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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