En Mana Vaanil ...
ANOTHER RUN is on and this time it comes from Oscar Films. Director Vinayan's preoccupation with the tribulations of the physically challenged comes to the fore yet again in "En Mana Vaanil." So after the visually impaired "Kasi", a mute pair arrives on the scene.
The flavour of Kerala permeates through the entire film, of course with enough stunts to suit the local milieu. This is the usual tale of rich-girl-poor-boy romance, but the catch is the two cannot talk. The young man (Ganesh) has sharp ears but the girl (Thilaka) is both deaf and mute. Thilaka selects Ganesh as her husband-to-be, only because she feels being impaired himself he would understand her well. But things are not going to be smooth for these lovebirds because the bad man Thilaka's fiancé whose target is her wealth is not going to let her live in peace. The lovers elope and if the villains are chasing them so are the thugs in Ooty and the corrupt police officials there. So it is one long route to escape ... and the disconcerting part is that their run never seems to end.
Kavya Madhavan and Jayasurya acquit themselves admirably in roles that call for seasoned enactment. The experience with the Malayalam version seems to have helped the artistes. Every time his handicap is pointed out, the desperate manner in which Jayasurya conveys that he is aurally normal brings a smile to your lips the innocence makes a deep impression. In Kavya's case however, overt reactions and loud expressions at certain points add to the melodrama. Vadivelu, Vaiyapuri and Manivannan take care of the levity and yet shine in the serious sequences. The scene in which the friends help the lovers leave the house surreptitiously, is complete slapstick that fails to tickle. If Chandrashekar's character is too theatrical, Deepika's portrayal is an appreciable attempt at underplay. As the adopted daughter of the poor man, her eyes poignantly reveal the agony of a desolate and hapless young woman.
Even the location of the hero's hut is so much like the one you saw in "Kasi". It is unbelievable that Vijayakumar, who is so fond of his daughter, does not think twice about getting her married to someone whose very presence so obviously disturbs her!
Utpal V. Nayanar's camera follows the players of the drama with deftness through the congested township of Ooty, even as it captures the aesthetic appeal of the beautiful locations. A couple of Ilaiyaraja's compositions, one of them is "Muthu Muthu ... ," are captivating.
The hide and seek game becomes tiring after a point because no redemption or respite seems to be in sight ... till the very end. Too much of mental and physical trauma on screen could only leave the viewer weary and exasperated.
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