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Friday, Nov 23, 2001

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Shahjahan

THE TITLE says it all— the hero lives for love. He is a do-gooder and a virtual god for lovers — because his mission is to surmount all odds and unite every loving pair.

Youth, romance and vibrant music seem to sell at a premium these days. Super Good Films' ``Shahjahan'', written and directed by Ravi, has all these in ample measure. Ashok (Vijay) is the youngster whom lovers rush to whenever they face opposition at home. And Ashok, who is still on the look out for a job, pledges or sells his chain every time he has to unite a pair.

Ashok falls in love with Mahe (Richa Palot) and bides his time (he has a reason for it) to pour his heart out. Soon it is too late. Unwittingly he helps his friend Raja (Krishna) win the heart of Mahe. The lovers come together but there is a lot of unbelievable bloodshed in the bargain.

The climax reaches ridiculous levels, when in broad daylight, at Chennai's Central Station, there is an intense, dangerous fight between the henchmen and the hero, but till the end no one intervenes and there is not one policeman in sight.

Going by the incidents one gets the feeling that all daddies are abominably bad — they slap the wife when the daughter strays and have a bunch of hooligans with them always to stop the marriage. Actresses like Janaki Sabesh donning such insipid roles only adds to the irritation.

New face Richa has little to do but look good. Vijay sparkles in the role of Ashok and Krishna fills the bill of a perfect non-action hero.

Vivek's comedy borders on lewdness and if there is message (!) it could have been better handled.

The percussion in ``Minnalai Pidithu...'' scintillatingly sung by Unni Menon is a foot tapping piece. ``Shahjahan'' could do for Manisharma what ``Narasimha'' did not — as far as Tamil cinema is concerned.

Of course, one cannot but be mesmerised by the lyrical prowess of Vairamuthu, in five out of the six songs.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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