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Maanasthan



"Maanasthan" ... a family affair.

THOUGH THE story dates back to the films of the 1960s when family drama ruled the roost and though the suspenseful parts are easily predictable, treatment and direction wise Malar Combines' "Maanasthan" passes muster.

You've seen innumerable such selfless cinema heroes as Deivarasu (Sarathkumar). Absolutely devoted to the family, unswervingly loyal to those who nurtured him and also unbelievably naοve, this hero material is completely cliched. But why he was allowed to remain an illiterate when his brother Selvarasu (Abbas) was sent to school and later to college, is a puzzle. The father (Vijayakumar) is a landlord, who develops sudden hatred for his son Deivarasu, which leads him to even plot the murder of his son. The reason is supposed to remain a suspense till the climax but is guessable at the outset. The unreasonable man's turnabout and remorse after his second son Selvarasu rebukes him doesn't hold water. If pace suffers a setback in "Maanasthan" it is mainly because of the song sequences. A jaded Sakshi who returns after quite a while makes her presence felt at the point where she takes on her callous brother and the villains single-handed. In the lighter scenes she tends to overact to an irritating extent. Similarly Sarathkumar is very artificial in the romantic and humorous interludes but makes up for it amply in the serious and tragic moments. In the scene where he scoffs at his father for his selfishness, vanity and ingratitude, Abbas shines. Vadivelu's comedy is a healthy high point of "Maanasthan." And adding pep to it is the writer-director of the film, K. Bharati, who plays the lively role of Vellaisamy. Vijayakumar and Sujatha are apt as always. Kakka Radhakrishnan is another veteran who impresses in a cameo.

Kichas' camera captures the bounty of Nature with the greenery of the countryside and the plentiful water of the falls, not just in the duets but throughout the film. For a change the fights (choreographed by Pammal Ravi) look quite natural — you don't have the hero turning in the air a dozen times before a Perfect 10 landing.

The end justifies the title totally. The hero of "Maanasthan" has enough self-respect. He does not succumb to the " ... and they live happily ever after" kind of closing shot. A point that director Bharati has to be given credit for.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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