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Film Review

Clipping (48kbs) - The New Indian Express, 25-04-1999. By Arul S., Y. Maheshwara Reddy

Record Number : A0040933

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Film Review
Proverbial tear-jerker
Film:Thodadrum (Tamil)
Cast: Ajith Kumar, Devayani, Heera
Director: Ramesh Khanna

‘THODARUM’ is another one of those tuggers at your tear glands, that try to tell the tale of the ‘overpossessive wife’, ‘her spouse’ and ‘the other woman.’

Director Ramesh Khanna, after his comic role in the superhit ‘Unidathil Ennal Koduthen’ which had us rolling over in the aisles, probably decided to make amends and so we have ‘Thodarum.’

The film starts off with the arrival of Jayaram (Ajith) at a village to seek the alliance of Sita (Devayani). He fulfills the required formalities and the enterprise ends in wedlock.

But he is soon to find out that his helpmeet, in spite of all her wonderful qualities, is a bit overpossessive in nature, and from hereon we know what to expect.., the arrival of a lovely lass at his workplace to spice up the proceedings... the ability of our filmi wives to be always able to spot their husbands and this ‘other lass’ in compromising positions their readiness to miscontrue these innocent relationships... and their tendency to selfignite with jealousy.

Of course, finally Sita files for divorce., and in due course, there is a twist in the tale, which turns the story on its head.

The director tries hard to avoid small puddles of cliches, but unfortunately falls into an ocean instead.

Devayani as Sita has the meaty role, and gives us a wonderfully controlled performance.
Ajith as the sometimes confused, sometimes shocked. but always understanding husband, is adequate and so is Heera. But Delhi Ganesh, as Sita’s uncle, is the scene-stealer.

Illayaraja’s songs are as uninspiring as most of the movie, but the background score is spot-on.

In the first half the director tries to cushion this woefully narrated tale of woe, with a two-pronged, languid comedy track, one of which makes a hapless disappearance after the break...

The second half has you grabbing at your handkerchiefs and wishing earnestly that you had brought a bigger one along.

ARUL S

Beauty sans foundation
Film: Habba (Kannada)
Director: D Rajendra Babu
Cast: Vishnuvardhan, Ambarish, Devaraj, Shasikumar, Ramkumar, Jayaprada, Urvashi, Kasturi. Charulatha, Vijayalakshmi, Nagababu, Ghazar Khan, Ravi and Leelavathy

THOUGH it’s interesting to see almost all the major artistes in one film, Habba is like a beautiful mansion without proper foundation.

If some of the scenes, especially the stunts, are any indication, it seems the director has had to struggle to give equal footage to all.

The whole story of the film revolves around two marriages.

While the first half of the film ends with Shashikumar and Charulatha getting together, the second half ends with Ramkumar and Vijayalakshmi’s marriage.

Vishnuvardhan, Ambarish, Devaraj, Shashikumar and Ramkumar are brothers. While Vishnuvardhan gets married with Jayaprada, Ambarish with Urvashi and Devaraj with Kasturi, Shashikumar and Ramkumar are bachelors.

Vishnuvardhan comes to know that Sashikumar is in love with Savithri (Charulatha) and promptly arranges his marriage.

While his brothers and sisters-in-law are busy in the marriage, Ramkumar’ meets Seetha
(Vijayalakshmi) and falls in love with her.

Meanwhile Ramkumar succeeds in getting his elders’ consent to marry his lover but it is not the same for Seetha who has to convince her four brothers.

They want their sister to remain a spinster so they can keep her property Here the director introduces a modern type Virataparva of Mahabharatha epic where Vishnuvardhan and his brothers along with their wives join Seetha’s house in disguise as servants.

Ramkumar too joins her house as a eunuch to teach her dance.

Finally how Ramkumar and Seetha get married forms the climax of the story but not before a small - number of unconvincing and unnecessary scenes.

Though almost all the artistes have acted well, Ramkumar and Ambarish are the most riveting. Unfortunately, the director fails to exploit Jayaprada’s dancing skills or Urvashi's talent for comedy.

Music director Hamsaleka excels.

Y MAHESWARA REDDY

 

 

 

 

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