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Sila Nerangalil.

Feb 29, 2008, 12:34

Cast: Vincent Asokan, Navya Nair, Vineeth, Sriman, Raghuvaran, Ramesh Khanna, Sukumari

Direction: Jayaraj

Music: Srikanth Deva

Production: Ram New Light Productions Ltd.
Rebirth, an avaricious and vengeful relative who would kill for money, an apprehensive protagonist who thinks his wife is cheating on him, and a murder mystery. That pretty much sums up the national award winning Malayalam director Jayaraj’s Tamil debut Sila Nerangalil, a part period, part contemporary thriller. The movie’s attempt – a desperate one at that – to be different is glaringly evident in every frame. Clever in parts and lame in some, Sila Nerangalil plays hide and seek with logic and evokes a déjà vu feeling of the late 80s Tamil cinema.

Vincent Asokan and Navya are a happily married millionaire couple living in the 60s. Navya’s fondness towards Asokan’s singer friend Vineeth wreaks havoc in their love life. A vicious Fatima Babu, Asokan’s sister who has an eye for his money, sets them up and Asokan falls prey for Navya’s murder and eventually gets a death sentence.

Cut to the present, Navya – no price for guessing, she is reincarnated again – is in rehabilitation owing to depression following the aftershock of Tsunami. Asokan – the reincarnated – is a psychiatrist and treats her back to good health, in order to have her reunited with her family, Asokan’s advertisement in the newspapers catches the attention of Raghuvaran – yet another psychiatric consultant. Enter Raghuvaran and his hypnotic tricks, which enable Asokan and Navya to discover they were a couple in their previous birth. Hypnosis also reveals many more such shocking secrets.
Vincent Asokan plays the role of a loving husband who transforms into a doubting Thomas to flawless perfection, especially in those scenes showing this transition. Navya’s role of looking good pays off well in her 60s-styled role where she seems to totally belong, but loses luster in her more contemporary look. Raghuvaran’s character loses dignity the moment he reads Navya’s mind to the extent of discovering her previous birth. Vineeth is admirable, while Fatima Babu as the vicious vixen comes across as exactly that.

Of the few highlights, the camera steals the show. While the minute details of the sixties sets deserve a special mention, Rajavel’s cinematography attempts to present it in a more than make-believe manner is commendable. Same with the impeccable make up and costume that enhances the period look and feel of the movie.
Srikanth Deva’s Pongude pongude and Enpaavai are songs worthy of downloading onto your music player. Sirkar Prasad’s expert editing helps you follow this twisty plot clearly. Calling Ramesh Kanna’s comedy boring would be an understatement – it’s that lackluster. While director Jayaraj manages to keep the suspense intact in a few places in this two-hour movie, it is clear that crafting such a shape-shifting screenplay has eluded even a good director like him.

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