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Dhool


HE TRANSCENDS superman levels — superhuman and omnipotent, hero Arumugam (Vikram) takes on the scum of society single-handed and, of course, emerges successful. Director Dharani seems to have analysed the psyche of society's suffering lot well. He knows that the underdog, who is always at the receiving end, would love to give the bigwigs a run for their money. So when the hero, who belongs to their ilk, refuses to be cowed down by the powers that be and makes them lick the dust, the filmgoer generally laps it up. Sri Surya Movies' "Dhool" is another one of the same genre.

Having tasted success with his first effort, "Dhil", where a similar formula had been adopted, Dharani has decided to toe the tested line with the same hero. Hence at pertinent points "Dhool" reminds you of "Dhil".

The scene where Vikram is beaten up, thrown out and concluded dead, is one such. Of course, if he was thrown on the railway track in the earlier film, here it is the sewage canal.

Arumugam comes to the city to meet the Minister from his constituency, about the water in their village that is being polluted by effluents from the factory nearby. The educated girl in the village Easwari (Jyotika) and her grandma accompany him. And their pleasant and unpleasant experiences in the city form the rest of the story. The reason for their prolonged stay in Chennai even after horrible encounters is too flimsy and defies any rationale. Also the manner in which Jyotika gets into trouble with the villains, seems unwarranted and exasperating. Just when you begin to appreciate Arumugam's restraint in tackling the bad men, he follows the weather-beaten path of hue, cry and stunts. The Minister becomes his sworn enemy and Arumugam brings about his downfall.

Making a woman (Telangana Sakuntala) an underworld kingpin and choreographing a serious fight sequence to the music of a village song sung by an old woman are novel attempts, no doubt but somehow they don't jell. The character of Swarnakka is an aberration that lacks finesse. A little underplay would have helped.

Vikram is at home in the role of a macho, daredevil hero. Jyotika makes a neat comeback in "Dhool", sporting a much slimmed down, fresh look. A word of caution to Vivek — his predictable mannerisms and clichéd expressions are beginning to get tiresome, though you still enjoy the social consciousness in his comedy.

`Paravai' Muniamma as the grandma is natural, without anything even faintly cinematic about her. Pasupathy, who had been forgotten even after an impressive enactment in Nasser's "Mayan", is the henchman Adhi in "Dhool", but he has little scope to perform. Manoj K. Jayan makes a mark as the struggling, straightforward policeman Karunakaran.

Maniraj's art is an impressive factor of "Dhool". The first fight between Adhi and Arumugam, in which the latter breaks the villain's hand is much more effective than the usual stunts in the climax which has the hero swirling around in midair before actually landing.

"Aasai Aasai ... " is the only melody number from Vidya Sagar. Vikram's brain-brawn combo does help sustain the tempo. It's only that there's nothing new that "Dhool" offers. But as long as the till keeps ringing, little else matters, you suppose.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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