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"Jayam"



"Jayam" ... the treatment is interesting in patches with flashes of wit.

THERE IS a striking innocence about the hero of "Jayam." Soft, sensitive and agile, Ravi. M. looks very much like Karthik did in his debut film "Alaigal Oivathillai".

The Telugu version, they say, was a runaway hit. Naturally one is curious about what the remake has in store.

But many things about M. L. Movie Arts' "Jayam" give a sense of déjà vu. The story? One you've heard and seen so often. The characters? Stereotypes where the bad are awfully evil, the good so completely ethical and the parents, of course, abominably insensitive.

Ravi (Ravi. M.) and Sujatha (Sadha) are classmates, who also commute to college by the same local train.

They fall in love and as expected trouble brews. Even as a child Sujatha had been engaged to marry family friend Kathirvelu's son, Raghu. Again predictably, Raghu (Gopichand) is a consummate rogue.

The lovers elope, the villains chase and when the two turn round in defiance it is the latter's turn to run.

The treatment ("Jayam" has screenplay and direction by M. Raja) is interesting in patches and Prasanna Kumar's dialogue displays flashes of wit. But he goes overboard in his use of double entendres. Vulgarity in a humorous garb can never be funny.

The railway station and the song sequence therein transport you to the time of T. Rajendar's first film, "Oru Thalai Ragam". Sadha, the new heroine, does not always get her emotions right. She heaves when she is in love, blinks when she is coy and often strikes a Statue-of-Liberty-like pose with one hand up, when she wants the hero out of the way or when she goads him to rise against the intimidators. Why does the camera frighten the viewer in the first scene, showing the fingers of the grandma in tight close up? After all the old woman was only playing with the children! Another petrifying feature is the extremely loud rerecording. The frenetic pace of R.B. Patnaik's music, where melody gets little leeway, is surely not for the weak-hearted.

In this usual, nevertheless, decent love story the likes of Shakila and Sharmilee are aberrations. And when will college classrooms in cinema ever begin to look natural and normal? The milieu and humour are intolerably stale.

Rajeev's role as the father who forces the daughter into marriage with Raghu is appalling. He is a witness to the man's tantrums, temper and murderous tendencies but he still sticks to his decision. And when in the end he smiles with a nod of approval it is both irritating and ridiculous. The attitude of all the elders in "Jayam" is absolutely outdated.

The occurrences (complete with a philosophical song in the background reminiscent of the films of the 1960s) are so very obsolete that when in the climax, the villain uses a cell phone it is almost startling.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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