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"Mr. Deeds"


``Mr. Deeds''... funny in parts.

WHAT WOULD one do if some benevolent uncle died leaving several billion dollars? Buy fancy cars, islands, go on a five-star holiday, never work again, take care of the family, and live the life of luxury... But Longfellow Deeds, simple hearted small town man from New Hampshire, looks at wealth differently.

A remake of the classic "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town", this Colombia Pictures venture, is about a simple man made wealthy by circumstances and is forced to live amidst the false and shallow people motivated chiefly by money in the big city of New York. Adam Sandler, known for his many juvenile roles, plays Mr. Deeds, a sweet but nave man and brings certain warmth to the character.

When a media mogul dies trying to climb Mount Everest leaving a fortune and the controlling shares of his empire to his only blood relative Longfellow Deeds (his sister's son), it is most unpalatable to Chuck Cedar (Peter Gallagher), man running the show

His mission is to convince Deeds to sell his shares and leave him the sole control of the company. With assistance from Cecil (Eric Avari) of course. So they travel all the way to New Hampshire to convince `this Mr. Deeds' to sell the shares by going back with them to New York to finish the paper work and all other legal matters.

Here they discover a man who runs Deeds' Pizza Palour and spreads cheer in the little town with some really nice gestures. He also happens to be the local celebrity, who frequently attempts to have his amusing poetry published by Hallmark. Deeds is hardly interested in the money but decides to travel with them to see the sights, if not anything else. What greets him is a world very alien to him.

In the mansion, he meets the sneaky butler Emilio (John Turroto) who is able to transport himself mysteriously from one place to another very quickly, and for some reason likes feet. Deeds also discovers other joys of being rich - silk sheets, a Hawaiian fruit punch fountain, a personal elevator operator, and ownership of a football and baseball team.

Deeds also finds out that where there is formality he needs to tackle it with his brand of simplicity and warmth winning many loyal followers — but not before he is forced to learn the ways of this sophisticated, if false world. And then there is Babe Bennet (Winona Ryder) posing as Pam Dawson, a school nurse from another small town in Iowa, but is actually a news reporter from a local channel out to get a story.

She cunningly manoeuvres with Deeds and the telecast makes Deeds seem like an idiot. But then she is truly charmed by his simplicity and is unable to tell him the truth. The inevitable moment arrives when small town values triumph over big city cynicism and everything wraps up perfectly. A typical feel-good situation, not without its predictable element.

Directed by Steven Brill, the performance of John Turroto as the Spanish butler with a fetish for feet, is very funny. And though artistically the film is nothing to write home about and the humour sloppy, you may just find yourself connecting with the character at some emotional level. Maybe that shows you can enjoy the film!

CHITRA MAHESH

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