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Friday, April 27, 2001

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Film Review: Badri


VIJAY HAS taken incredible risks in the action scenes in Oscar Films' ``Badri'' - risks so real that at times they make the viewer anxious about the actor's safety. When the young hero is willing to take such incalculable efforts, is it not imperative that he checked out whether the screenplay was strong enough and worthwhile?

All the same, ``Badri'' is a film that clearly establishes a different dimension to the lover boy image of Vijay. He is the new macho man, the new action hero who turns a kickboxer in Jean Claude Van Damme style.

Badri and his friends are a group of vagabonds, who go around town with the sole aim of having fun and little else. The advice of elders, the reprimand from the college authorities and insults from people around them, hardly affect the group that is notorious for its irresponsible ways. Janu (Bhoomika) is a docile neighbour and good friend of Badri. She is secretly in love with him, but predictably Badri is unaware of it. He falls in love with the hep, selfish and money-minded Mamathi (Monal). She reciprocates thinking he is rich but gives him the cold-shoulder when she comes to know that he is not. Vetri (Riyaz Khan), Badri's elder brother, is the one on whom the father pins all his hope. He wants his elder son to become a champion in kickboxing, but it is Badri who eventually succeeds.

The story may not be completely original, but it is one that has the necessary ingredients of an interesting film. The dialogue is effective for the most part. It is the vital screenplay that lacks crispness. The boy knows that Mamathi's love is based on his financial status and still pursues the girl. When she accuses him of being a cheat, he shouts at her and goes on in an expositive vein about what true love is! A confusing and illogical line of thought.

This is Monal's second film and it is time she begins to work on her expressions.

Bhoomika as the quiet and helpful Janu shows class and histrionics of an appreciable quality. A dignified portrayal by the debutante.

But both the heroines seem to be mouthing the dialogue in an alien tongue in most of the scenes. (except in the close-up shots). Even if their voices are dubbed, heroines should at least make an attempt to deliver the dialogue in the language. Lip sync is vital to make their enactment effective and natural.

Music is by Ramana Gokula. ``Angel Vandhalae'' has a catchy tune but stays in your mind more for the elegant dance steps.

The screenplay and direction are by P.A. Arun Prasad.

``Badri'' clearly reveals the diligence and sincerity of Vijay. But would these alone make a film wholesome?

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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