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Ayyaa



"Ayyaa" ... appealing family drama.

EVERY FRAME of Kavithalaya's "Ayyaa" (barring the pace-spoiling duets) has a commanding dignity about it. In many ways "Ayyaa" reminds you of the appealing family drama of yesteryear cinema, provided by veterans such as Bhim Singh — the kind you could think back, savour and enjoy for long. Amid frivolous pranks and crude take-offs in the name of romance, the bond of friendship and the strong family ties the film dwells upon, are refreshing. So what if "Ayyaa" has melodrama and stereotypes? Other positives make up for the clichés.

Ayyadurai (Sarath Kumar) is a much-respected politician whose only goal is the unity and welfare of his village. However much Karuppusamy (Prakashraj) tries to drive a wedge between the people and Ayyadurai, and also between the old man and his long time friend Maadasamy (Napoleon), he fails. And when he eventually succeeds it is despair in the homes of the two friends. Things do end well, but not before the elderly Ayyadurai is incarcerated on a murder charge. Nothing very new about the story all right yet in the screenplay and in the natural reactions of characters Hari proves his skill.

Suitable dual role

"Ayyaa" is another memorable dual role for Sarath. At no point do you even vaguely feel that Ayyadurai and his son Chelladurai are played by the same actor. The calm, quiet and honest father and the upright, considerate and decorous son are characters that charm the viewer. Their creator Hari and enactor Sarath can feel proud. And if Sarath is the epitome of dignity, so is Napoleon, as an apt foil. Both when he is friendly and when he turns fiery Napoleon does a splendid job with his expressive eyes and impressive dialogue to boot.

Nayantara, the new heroine, does a neat job of the role, but why does the young lady have to wear costumes that only help to highlight the flab? Rohini gets one scene to prove her mettle and she doesn't let the opportunity slip. Lakshmi, who appears on the big screen after quite a while, contributes her mite to the melodrama. However her experience comes to the fore in the scene she confronts Napoleon, when he slaps her son. Sindhu has practically no dialogue, but her eyes effectively convey the agony of being a bad man's wife.

The comedy track that has nothing to do with the main storyline, and the commercial norm of three songs and dances in every film, hamper the narration a great deal. Even if the rest is inevitable, Hari could have done away with the last duet. The rude manner in which Napoleon and his family are made to wait at the door before Ayyadurai decides about the marriage of their offspring is not only strange and insulting but also unwarranted!

Kadhir's art deserves kudos and so does V. T. Vijayan's editing. Priyan's enticing cinematography stands out in many a sequence. Action choreography, Super Subbarayan style, adds to the verve of the stunt scenes. Most of the time, one song (generally a solo) stands out among Bharadwaj's compositions in a film — in "Ayyaa" it is "Ayyaa Dhora... "

A solid (though familiar) storyline supported by a strong screenplay, astute touches and a natural approach, show that writer-director Hari's success with "Saami" was not a mere flash in the pan.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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