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Gambeeram

IN "SAAMI" he was Aarusami, in "Gambeeram" he is Muthusami, and instead of Vikram it is Sarathkumar who dons the police garb in this Mass Movie Makers' production. The cast and crew are different but the similarities are striking. True to its name, the "Gambeeram" hero looks majestic, dignified and commanding in every frame.

Racy and reasonably logical police stories generally never fail. Going by the theory, "Gambeeram" ought to prove a safe bet for its makers. Another point in the film's favour is that nowhere does the predictable occur. If you expected the pregnant assistant commissioner's wife who is stranded on the lonely roadside, to be chased by the bad men in the vicinity, she is not. If you thought the Minister's henchmen would kidnap the policeman's child whom he dotes on, they don't. If you felt that the not-so-prudent journalist, who clicks the police-underworld nexus in action, would be caught and killed, she isn't. And lastly if you are sure that Sarath and Laila would marry each other, well ... it is left to your imagination.

Assistant Commissioner Muthusami (Sarathkumar) tolerates no corruption or injustice. A widower whose family life revolves round his four-year old daughter Krithika (Baby Monika), Muthusami is the epitome of perfection at home and at office. But how far can a police story go without a villain? Here there is not one but three, including the rich businessman (Sethu Vinayakam), the clever bureaucrat (Manickavinayakam) and the unscrupulous Minister (Thanikala Bharani).

"Gambeeram" offers a solid role for Sarathkumar. With commendable underplay and agile action Sarath does justice to the job on hand. Laila's scared, vulnerable look suits her to perfection. And debutant Pranathi's sparkling eyes help her make an impression as Sarath's wife Saroja.

This is another comedy track in which Vadivelu evokes some healthy laughter.

The new `villain' Thanikala Bharani and that hulk of a fighter (Jasper) are just stereotypes. Manisharma's re-recording has never believed in mellowed sound. And with "Gambeeram"s action-packed sequences lending themselves to frenetic beats and blaring music, Mani has a field day.

The location beautifully captured by Y.N. Murali, elegant choreography (Brinda), Manisharma's melodic (despite the loudness) opening lines, appreciable lyrics from Kabilan and Laila's charm make the "Naanaaga ... " sequence appealing.

V.T. Vijayan's crisp editing adds pep to "Gambeeram." You do not come across any distinctive Thottatharani touches in the artwork.

If a producer and a director repeat a hero, it can only be an indication of the rapport that they share and the faith the makers repose in the actor's talent.

This is the third Mass Movie Makers' product after "Thenkasi Pattanam" and "Paarai", and all three feature Sarathkumar.

For writer-director Suresh, "Gambeeram" is the second film after his super hit debut, "Arasu," that again fielded Sarath as its protagonist — and the hero has delivered the goods.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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