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Drama without melodrama



PLAUSIBLE DOMESTIC TUSSLE: `Priyasakhi'

Priyasakhi

Genre: Romance

Director: K. S. Adhiyamaan

Cast: Madhavan; Sada; Sachu; Aishwarya; Pratap Pothen

Storyline: Incompatibility between a couple.

Bottomline: Married folks will relate to it better.

When was the last time you saw our young heroes play dad? But Madhavan is an exception. Even at the beginning of his career he didn't think twice about acting as a father of three! Here again he portrays a family man and a caring dad of a newborn in Sri Raj Lakshmi Films (P) Ltd.'s `Priyasakhi.' Writer-director Adhiyamaan returns to Tamil after a hiatus — a Hindi sojourn to be exact. (The Hindi version starring Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty is in the offing.)

The large joint family, which is a rarity these days, is the scene of action in this drama that involves the young Santhanakrishnan or Sakhi, his wife Priya (Sada), brother (Ramesh Kanna) his wife and kids, sister, grandma (Sachu) and mom (Rajalakshmi). Brought up in a very modern atmosphere Priya doesn't quite fit into the family setup. Making adjustments gets tough and Priya's mother (Aishwarya) is only too eager to get her daughter back. Petty matters become an issue and compatibility or the lack of it leads to divorce.

Mature show

It is a mature performance from Madhavan, who has not had a Tamil release for a while. Be it the initial cheekiness in the romantic interludes or the affection he shares at home Madhavan is apt. Three cheers to Adhiyamaan for not making the sentimental scenes melodramatic and not thrusting fight sequences into the framework.

The nuances in relationships (among those in the family) are appreciably natural. But when will our makers realise that a hard stinging slap on the wife's cheek is in no way a sign of manliness or mental strength? A much-thinned down Sada (her make-up plays truant in a couple of places) is a suitable match for Madhavan.

Pratap Pothen as the hen-pecked husband and Aishwarya as the dominating wife are predictable characters. Ramesh Kanna deserves to be noted for a subdued yet effective show.

Mohana Mahendran's art brings a touch of authenticity to Sakhi's home. Sethu Sriram's camera is also an aiding aspect. The incidents that keep the couple at loggerheads most of the time are what newlyweds would have experienced at some point. In that realism reigns. Of course, you have your reservations about the court verdict! But the Kovai Sarala sequences make a mockery of serious and sensitive situations. Madhavan's sober solo with the babe in arms is another clichéd sequence that affects the pace.

Projecting husband-wife squabbles in which the girl's mother fans things for the worse is not new to cinema. But the perceptive ability of Adhiyamaan that comes to the fore in his handling of the mood swings of a husband and wife, makes it different.

To many of the youth of today to whom divorce is no more taboo and marriage in no way sacrosanct the film could appear obsolete. But married folks should relate well to `Priyasakhi.'

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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