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Imparting a message all right ...



NEITHER HERE NOR THERE: Englishkaaran

Englishkaaran

Director: Shakti Chidambaram
Cast: Satyaraj, Vadivelu, Siva
Balaji, Namita, Madhumita, Aishwarya
Storyline: Of a young sports aspirant and a talented singer whom the hero encourages.
Bottomline: Shakti shouldn't think on serious lines.

Satyaraj, Shakti Chidambaram, the title `Englishkaaran' and the tagline `Thamizh Vaazhga,' sound a joyous amalgam. It is so, to a certain extent. This Seven Hills Film Factory production written and directed by Shakti Chidambaram has spurts of hilarity Satyaraj style. But when Shakti tries to get a little serious and sober the fun wagon derails into clichés and improbabilities. The film has a message both for the fanatic, and the apathetic male.

Thamizharasu (Satyaraj) goes all out to encourage and nurture wife Maheswari's (Namita) athletic skills. Maheswari's sister Sandhya (Madhumita) is a talented singer but the conservative dad is of the strong opinion that the woman's place is the kitchen. However, Thamizharasu is not going to rest till he makes Sandhya realise her ambition. Especially after he has lost his wife under the most tragic circumstances.

Typical

Satyaraj is absolutely at home with his typical brand of sarcasm, satire, spoof and mimicry. Be it `7/G Rainbow Colony' or `Chandramukhi' he spares no film. Vadivelu as the cheerful, thick-skinned nincompoop reminds you of his enactment in `Winner.' Unwittingly adding to the comic element is Namita as a sportswoman! The huge, buxom heroine gasping down the track looks ludicrous — and thin, sprightly girls losing out to her is the height of humour! Shakti could have made a better choice when the heroine is a sportswoman. And how does such an old-fashioned dad as hers allow his daughter to romp around out in low-waist (!) jeans and short tight tops? For all that the family lives in a small town! Namita has to do something about her figure or at least wrap it all up. Her expressions, however, are apt.

Madhumita looks svelte and portrays the role of an aspiring singer well. Aishwarya is the oh-so-often-seen caricature of an unscrupulous middle-aged woman. After all the big talk about vendetta and crime, sans sense and reason she abruptly disappears!

In what capacity does Satyaraj address the media? Puzzling! Some of the dance movements in the duets are not just seductive — they border on the obscene. Shreya Gosal's melodious voice enhances the appeal of the `Yaaradhu ... ' number tuned by Deva.

If only Shakti had stuck completely to light-hearted teasers that are his forte!

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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