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"Mullil Roja"

IT BEGINS reasonably well and ends on a noble note. What comes in between does not go down too well though. Everything about "Mullil Roja", produced by K. P. Gundecha, seems to take you backward in time. Probably such conditions do exist in rural areas, but even there it can only be rare. A bride being given away in marriage to a drunkard, who is in an inebriated state even on the day of the wedding, and the girl accepting her fate with docility, does not quite fit into the scheme of things, as they exist today.

"Mullil Roja" has a strong storyline. Malathi, a poor village dancer and Muthu, the rich landlord's son, fall in love. But Muthu is a little late in disclosing the matter, and his otherwise understanding father fixes up the son's wedding elsewhere. Malathi's father Vinu Chakravarthy knows where his daughter's interest lies but feels that they are too poor to even dream of such an alliance. The story traverses on these lines, and soon Muthu goes mad and Malathi is married off to the rich drunkard, Arun. Arun meets the mentally unstable Muthu, gets to know his past, helps him get cured and in the process kicks his habit of drinking too much. Now it is the most often seen love triangle, but the end is plausible and slightly different.

Kasturi Pandian has written the story and screenplay and directed "Mullil... " that swarms with new faces. Suraj as the initially callous and later caring Arun shows promise. So does the young man who plays Muthu. Strangely, the heroine looks appealing in a few scenes and almost fat and very different in others. Her dance movements are gross and her dress sense is another marring factor. Amudha Bharathi's music does not impress.

Song sequences occurring at the most erroneous of places make the viewer restless. If Kasturi Pandian had concentrated more on the screenplay, the end product may have been different.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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